Prevalence and predictors of anemia among pregnant women in Ethiopia: Systematic review and meta-analysis

PLoS One. 2022 Jul 27;17(7):e0267005. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0267005. eCollection 2022.


BACKGROUND: In Ethiopia limited information is available regarding the prevalence and predictors of anemia in pregnancy. This systematic review and meta-analysis estimated the pooled prevalence of anemia among pregnant women in Ethiopia and also identified its predictors.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The published primary studies were searched in the following electronic databases; PubMed/Medline, Google scholars, AJOL, and EMBASE. All primary studies published from 01/01/2010 to 30/05/2020 and written in English language were included without restriction on study setting and design. Critical appraisal of all available articles was done and extracted data was analyzed using STATA software version 14. The pooled prevalence of anemia was presented using a forest plot. The I2 statistical test for heterogeneity, and the Egger’s and Begg’s tests for publication bias were used. The relative risk was used to assess the association of predictor variables with anemia.

RESULT: After screening 274 articles, sixty studies were included in the analysis. The pooled prevalence of anemia among pregnant women was 26.4(95% CI: 23.1, 29.6). Sub-group analysis showed higher pooled prevalence from community-based studies than institutional-based studies. Factors that were protective against maternal anemia included urban residence, formal education and smaller family size. Short birth interval and not having antenatal care (ANC) are associated with a higher risk of maternal anemia. Women with low dietary diversity [RR: 2.61(95% CI, 1.85, 3.68)], mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) less than 23 cm [RR: 2.35(95% CI, 1.53, 3.68)] and those not taking iron-folic acid [RR: 1.53(95% CI: 1.30, 1.81)] also had a higher risk of anemia.

CONCLUSION: Almost one in four pregnant women in Ethiopia had anemia. Being literate, living in urban areas with small family size and adequate birth spacing, as well as good dietary diversity are associated with a lower risk of anemia in pregnancy.


PMID:35895619 | PMC:PMC9328503 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0267005


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