To determine the prevalence of anaemia in antenatal clinic attendees; to investigate the effects of parity, age,
gravidity, previous abortions, child spacing and other factors on the prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy.
This was a retrospective and cross-sectional study. Antenatal records of 2287 pregnant women attending 40
public healthcare centres from January 2000 to December 2005 in Trinidad and Tobago were used. Data pertaining to the
investigated variables were recorded. The national prevalence of anaemia was calculated and chi-square tests, odds ratios and
logistic regression were used to assess the relationship between anaemia and each variable.
The prevalence of anaemia was 15.3% (95% CI 13.4%, 16.6%). No significant difference in the prevalence of
anaemia was found among the different clinics or counties. At the first haemoglobin reading, age was inversely related to the
presence of anaemia, whereas gestational age at first visit was directly related. At the final haemoglobin reading, parity,
gravidity, and previous spontaneous abortions were directly related to the prevalence of anaemia, while the number of visits
was inversely related. Age was inversely associated to the severity of anaemia while gravidity was directly related.
The prevalence of anaemia decreased by 18.7% from 1967. Despite this positive indication, women under 24
years and those commencing antenatal care after the first trimester are still at a higher risk for developing anaemia. Early
commencement of antenatal care and close monitoring of the risk groups identified should be strongly advocated.