oa South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition - The prevalence of anaemia and selected micronutrient status in pregnant teenagers of Polokwane Municipality in the Limpopo Province : original research
Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the iron, folate and vitamin B12 status of pregnant teenagers in the Limpopo Province.
Design: This is a descriptive study with analytical components.
Methods: Pregnant teenagers aged between 12 and 21 years were recruited from Mankweng, Dikgale, Makotopong and Kganya clinics in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. Dietary data and blood were collected for the analysis of iron, folate and vitamin B12 status.
Outcome measures: Blood was collected for the analysis of iron, folate and vitamin B12 status. Dietary data were collected using a repeated 24-hour recall questionnaire and a food frequency questionnaire, and demographic data were also collected using a standard questionnaire.
Results: The mean and standard deviation for iron, folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin C were 6.5 mg ± 3.3, 155.3 μg ± 92.7, 2.3 μg ± 2.8 and 31.2 mg ± 36.2 respectively. The prevalence of anaemia was high (36%), with iron deficiency anaemia being the most prevalent (57%) as compared to either folate (9%) or vitamin B12 (7%) deficiency anaemia. There was a significant difference (p = 0.03) in serum folate between teenagers who were receiving folic acid supplements and those who were not receiving any such supplements.
Conclusions: More than a third of the teenagers were anaemic and this is considered to be high. These teenagers need nutrition education so that they will be able to choose nutritious food, especially at a critical stage such as pregnancy.
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