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Keywords:

  • Iron supplementation;
  • nonanaemic women;
  • pregnancy outcome

Objective  To study the effect of iron supplementation on pregnancy outcome in pregnant women with haemoglobin (Hb) ≥13.2 g/dl.

Design  A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Setting  Routine health services.

Population  Seven hundred and twenty-seven pregnant women with Hb ≥13.2 g/dl in the early stage of the second trimester.

Methods  Each woman took one tablet of 50 mg of ferrous sulphate daily in the case group (n = 370) or placebo in the control group (n = 357) throughout pregnancy.

Main outcome measures  Pregnancy outcome.

Results  While there were no significant differences in demographic and obstetric characteristics between the two groups before any intervention, small-for-gestational-age birth rate and the number of women with hypertension disorder increased significantly in the case group in comparison with the control group (57 [15.7%] versus 36 [10.3%], P = 0.035, 10 [2.7%] versus 3 [8%], P = 0.05, respectively).

Conclusions  Our finding proves that routine iron supplementation in nonanaemic women is not rational and may be harmful.