Pica is an eating disorder
in which non-nutritional objects are frequently eaten, and may have serious
side effects for both the mother and neonate. The aim of this study was to
determine the pica and its association with biochemical profiles of pregnant
women and its relation to pregnancy outcome. A prospective cohort study was
conducted in five health care centers in Zahedan City, Iran, in 2011-2012.
Samples of pregnant women (n = 200) in the age groups 18 - 40 years were
selected for this study and interviewed using a questionnaire. Maternal
biochemical profiles (hemoglobin and ferritin) during pregnancy, mean gestational
age and pregnancy outcome namely height, weight, and head circumferences of
neonates were compared to pregnant women who reported pica (pica group) and
women who did not (without pica group). The results showed pica prevalence
categorized by substance as follows: clay (23.3%), ice (53.7%), ice and freezer
frost (11.5%) and other substances (11.5%). Women in pica group had lower
hemoglobin levels during the three trimesters of pregnancy than without pica
group. Head circumferences of neonates in pica groups were significantly lower
than those of without pica groups (31.0 ± 0.6 vs. 34.0 ± 0.2 respectively).
There were no differences in mean birth weight, length, gestational age of
infants born to pregnant women from the pica group and without pica group. The
findings suggest that the pica practices during pregnancy are associated with
lower maternal hemoglobin during the pregnancy
periods, and also significantly lower head circumferences of neonates.
Dietitians should ask pregnant women with anemia about pica and should counsel
pregnant women who report pica.
Cite this paper
Khoushabi, F. , Ahmadi, P. , Shadan, M. , Heydari, A. , Miri, A. and Jamnejad, M. (2014) Pica Practices among Pregnant Women Are Associated with Lower Hemoglobin Levels and Pregnancy Outcome. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
, 646-652. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2014.411090
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