The authors present an extensive literature search which came up with a relatively small number of evaluable studies, 30 out of 5209! The findings are as expected, namely that iron supplementation during pregnancy reduces the incidence of anemia at term, favors higher birthweight, and reduces perinatal mortality.

Of interest is the observation that results were similar between iron and iron + folate, as well as between daily and intermittent iron administration. Weekly iron administration has the advantage of reduced side effects and increased compliance.

Finally, it was noted that the effects of iron supplementation depend on the degree of baseline anemia in the study population.

– Alice Maniatis