Background: Two important barriers to a successful pregnancy outcome are maternal under nutrition and malaria. This study was conducted to determine some micronutrient deficiencies among pregnant women infected with Plasmodium falciparum in Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria
Material and methods: Two hundred and fifty four participants aged 18 to 42 years consisting of 154 pregnant women attending antenatal clinic of the Federal Medical Center, Owo, and 100 apparently healthy non-pregnant women as controls were randomly enrolled in this study. Blood specimen was collected and analyzed for the detection of P. falciparum using 10% Giemsa staining technique while micronutrients (calcium, copper, iron and zinc) were analyzed using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS).
Results: Out of 154 pregnant women studied, 91 (59.1%) had micronutrient deficiency (MND) while 5 out of 100 (5.0%) non-pregnant control had micronutrient deficiency (p < 0.0001). Forty three (27.9%) of the 154 pregnant women and 3 (3.0%) of 100 non-pregnant control had P. falciparum infection (p < 0.0001). Forty three of the 91 (47.3%) pregnant women and 3 of the 5 (60%) non-pregnant women with MND had P. falciparum infection (p = 0.6681). All 43 pregnant women with MND but none of the 63 pregnant women without MND had P. falciparum infection (p < 0.0001). Similarly, all 3 non-pregnant women with P. falciparum infection had MND but none of the 95 non-pregnant women without MND had P. falciparum infection (p < 0.0001). Multiple micronutrient deficiencies of iron and calcium (65.3%), iron and zinc (16.1%) and iron and copper (18.6%) were observed among pregnant women but none among non-pregnant women. Factors significantly associated with P. falciparum infection among pregnant women with MND were age group 23-27 years (p = 0.0109), first trimester gestational age (p = 0.0234), primiparity (p = 0.0303) and wet season (p < 0.0173). There was no significant association between anaemia and prevalence of P. falciparuminfection in pregnant women with MND (p = 0.1327) but pregnant women with iron deficiency were more likely to be infected with P. falciparumthan those with other micronutrient deficiencies (p = 0.0013)
Conclusion: This study reported a higher prevalence rate of 27.9% for P. falciparum infection in pregnant women compared to 3% in non-pregnant women population, but a much higher rate of 47.3% among pregnant women with micronutrient deficiencies.
Keywords: Micronutrient deficiencies, Plasmodium falciparum, pregnant women, Owo
Download full journal in PDF below
Micronutrient deficiencies among pregnant women with Plasmodium falciparum infection in Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria