Objective: Maternal anemia (Hemoglobin, <11 mg/dl) has been shown to affect fetal growth and pregnancy outcome. We aimed to study a possible association between maternal anemia and the risk for neurological morbidity in the offspring, during a follow-up period of up to 18 years. Study design: A population-based cohort analysis was performed at the Soroka University Medical Center (SUMC), a single regional tertiary center comparing total and specific subtypes of neurological morbidities associated with hospitalizations among children stratified by three maternal post-partum hemoglobin categories: ≥11 mg/dl (no anemia); 11.0 mg/dl > Hb ≥ 7 mg/dl (mild-to-moderate anemia) and <7 mg/dl (severe anemia). Data on pregnancy course and outcome, and later offspring hospitalizations, were compared between the three study groups. All singleton deliveries between the years 1991–2014 were included in the analysis, and congenital malformations were excluded. A Kaplan-Meier survival curve was used to compare cumulative hospitalization incidence based on maternal anemia status, and a Weibull survival multivariable hazard model was constructed to adjust for confounding variables. Results: The study population included 217,358 deliveries of which 50.6% were in mothers who were not anemic, 49.0% in mothers with moderate anemia and 0.4% in mothers with severe anemia. During the follow up period (0–18 years, median 10.22 years), 2.1% of offspring were hospitalized with a neurological diagnoses. Neurological hospitalization incidence decreased from 2.95/1000 person years, in the severe anemia group, to 2.32/1000 person years and 2.01/1000 person years, among the mild-to-moderate and no anemia groups, respectively (p = 0.007). The association between maternal anemia and offspring long-term pediatric neurological morbidity remained significant in a Weibull hazards model controlled for gestational age, delivery mode, SGA and insufficient prenatal care (adjusted HR 1.55; 1.05–2.31 and adjusted HR 1.13; 1.06–1.20; among the severe and mild-to-moderate anemia, vs. no anemia, respectively). Conclusion: Children born to anemic mothers are at an increased risk for pediatric neurological-related hospitalizations.
- Neurological morbidities
- Population based cohort
- Prenatal anemia
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology