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Anaemia prevalence and risk factors in pregnant women in Oman: a retrospective case-control study

02 June 2024
Volume 32 · Issue 6



Anaemia is a multifactorial condition and understanding its prevalence and associated factors is crucial for effective healthcare planning and interventions. The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence of anaemia during pregnancy and its potential risk factors in Oman.


A retrospective approach was used to identify anaemia cases by examining medical records taken from 9321 women who gave birth at the hospital over 3 years. Chi-squared tests were used to establish differences in risk factors using a case-control design, with a 1:2 ratio.


The crude prevalence of anaemia was 31.2%, dropping to 4.9% after excluding women with chronic and/or acute diseases. Significant differences were found in nationality (χ2=4.738, P=0.030), body mass index (χ2=6.392, P=0.041) and gestational age (χ2=4.329, P=0.037) for women with anaemia compared to those without.


These findings underscore the significance of assessing and managing anaemia in pregnancy, while considering the interaction of demographic and clinical variables in formulating anaemia prevention strategies.

Anaemia during pregnancy is a global public health concern with significant implications for maternal and fetal health (Means, 2020). It is a multifactorial condition, and understanding its prevalence and associated factors is crucial for effective healthcare planning and interventions. Anaemia is defined as a condition characterised by a deficiency of red blood cells or haemoglobin in the blood, leading to reduced oxygen-carrying capacity (Ogunbode and Ogunbode, 2021). During pregnancy, anaemia is a common issue, and its prevalence varies globally from 5.2% to 65.7% (Stevens et al, 2013; Costa and Ayres-Silva, 2019; Karami et al, 2022). Oman has a unique sociodemographic profile and healthcare system (Farzah and Husin, 2022). Approximately 24% of the total Omani population are women of reproductive age (15–49 years), the total fertility rate was 3.9 children per woman in 2019, and Oman has a well-developed, universal healthcare system that provides free health services to all citizens (World Health Organization, 2021). In this context, it is essential to examine the prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy to implement effective strategies for its prevention and management.

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