Temporal trends of hemoglobin among pregnant women: The Mutaba’ah study

Aminu S. Abdullahi, Abubaker Suliman, Moien A.B. Khan, Howaida Khair, Saad Ghazal-Aswad, Iffat Elbarazi, Fatima Al-Maskari, Tom Loney, Rami H. Al-Rifai, Luai A. Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Low hemoglobin (Hb) level is a leading cause of many adverse pregnancy outcomes. Patterns of changes in Hb levels during pregnancy are not well understood. Aim This study estimated Hb levels, described its changing patterns across gestational trimesters, and identified factors associated with these changes among pregnant women. Materials and methods Data from the ongoing maternal and child health cohort study–The Mutaba’ah Study, was used (N = 1,120). KML machine learning algorithm was applied to identify three distinct cluster trajectories of Hb levels between the first and the third trimesters. Descriptive statistics were used to profile the study participants. Multinomial multivariable logistic regression was employed to identify factors associated with change patterns in Hb levels. Results The three identified clusters–A, B and C–had, respectively, median Hb levels (g/L) of 123, 118, and 104 in the first trimester and 119, 100, and 108 in the third trimester. Cluster’A’ maintained average normal Hb levels in both trimesters. Cluster’B’, on average, experienced a decrease in Hb levels below the normal range during the third trimester. Cluster’C’ showed increased Hb levels in the third trimester but remained, on average, below the normal range in both trimesters. Pregnant women with higher gravida, diabetes mellitus (type 1 or 2), nulliparity or lower level of education were more likely to be in cluster’B’ than the normal cluster’A’. Pregnant women who reported using iron supplements before pregnancy or those with low levels of education. were more likely to be in cluster’C’ than the normal cluster’A’. Conclusion The majority of pregnant women experienced low Hb levels during pregnancy. Changes in Hb levels during pregnancy were associated with parity, gravida, use of iron before pregnancy, and the presence of diabetes mellitus (type 1 or 2).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0295549
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12 December
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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