Co-occurrence of iron, folate, and vitamin A deficiency among pregnant women in eastern Ethiopia: a community-based study

Meseret Belete Fite, Abera Kenay Tura, Tesfaye Assebe Yadeta, Lemessa Oljira, Tara Wilfong, Newas Yusuf Mamme, Gemechu Asefa, Demiraw Bikila Gurmu, Wossene Habtu, Feyissa Challa Waka, Nahom Tefera Demiss, Meseret Woldeyohannes, Masresha Tessema, Dawit Alemayehu, Tahir Ahmed Hassen, Aboma Motuma, Kedir Teji Roba*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
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    Background: It is well known that the magnitude of undernutrition in Ethiopia is unacceptably high. The burden of co-occurrence of iron, folate, and vitamin A deficiency, on the other hand, has received less attention. Thus, in this study, we looked at the prevalence of iron, folate, and vitamin A deficiency in pregnant women in eastern Ethiopia.

    Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 397 pregnant women in Haramaya district, eastern Ethiopia. An interview-assisted questionnaire and blood serum were collected from pregnant women using standard techniques and shipped to an EPHI for micronutrient analysis. Factors associated with the co-occurrence of iron, folate, and vitamin A deficiency were identified using binary and multiple logistic regressions.

    Results: According to this study, 81.6% of the participants were deficient in at least one micronutrient, and 53.53.2% were deficient in two or more. Women who did not receive iron-folic acid supplementation (AOR = 2.44; 95% CI = 1.52–3.92), did not attend Antenatal care (ANC) follow up (AOR = 2.88; 95% CI = 1.81–4.61), and reported low consumption of diversified diet (AOR = 2.18 (95% CI = 1.35–3.51) had a higher risk of co-occurrence of iron, folate, and vitamin A deficiency.

    Conclusion: This study found that more than half of pregnant women were in multiple micronutrients, indicating a major public health issue. In addition to the IFA supplementation programs that are already in place, there is a need for multiple micronutrient supplementation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number72
    Number of pages8
    JournalBMC Nutrition
    Publication statusPublished - 23-Jun-2023


    • Co-occurrence
    • Ethiopia
    • Ferritin
    • Micronutrient deficiency
    • Pregnant women
    • Retinol
    • Vitamin A

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