Association between maternal anemia and stunting in infants and children aged 0–60 months: A systematic literature review

Siti Rahayu Nadhiroh, Fedora Micheala, Serene En Hui Tung, Theresia Chrisanthy Kustiawan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Maternal anemia is a worldwide health issue and a common pregnancy complication. It leads to consequences including infant mortality, low birth weight, preterm birth, unrecoverable or partially reversible neurobehavioral and cognitive deficits, and short birth length. However, the relationship between maternal anemia and stunting in children is not well defined. This systematic literature review sought to determine whether maternal anemia was associated with height or length and stunting conditions in infants and children ages 0–60 mo in cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional studies carried out in several countries. Methods: A systematic review was performed on articles published from 2014–2021 related to maternal anemia and stunting. The electronic databases used were ScienceDirect, PubMed, Scopus, ProQuest, Google Search, and AJOG (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology). The literature search was performed up to December 7, 2021. Results: Twelve studies were included. Nine studies examined the correlation between maternal anemia and length or weight in children. Seven of the nine studies showed an association between maternal anemia and stunting in children; the others showed an association between maternal anemia and birth length. Three studies found no association between maternal anemia and stunting in children under age 5 y. Conclusions: The current review emphasizes that stunting in children may be associated with maternal anemia, specifically in developing countries. This implies that it is crucial to prevent anemia in adolescent girls and women before and during pregnancy as a part of programs to eliminate stunting in children.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112094
JournalNutrition
Volume115
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Keywords

  • Anemia
  • Children
  • Maternal
  • Stunting
  • Undernutrition

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