Background: In developing countries, under nutrition is common, and this plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of malaria and anemia. Indeed it has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Unfortunately, published evidence concerning the situation is lacking. Objectives: To evaluate some nutritional function indices of pregnant women in a rural Nigerian community. Subjects and Methods: This is a cross sectional study involving of 171 pregnant women from a rural area in South-eastern Nigeria. They included 72 and 99 women in their second and third trimesters respectively. The control group was of 60 women, matched in age, parity and socioeconomic conditions, non-pregnant, non-menstruating and non lactating apparently healthy women. The parameters measured by standard methods included serum iron, total proteins, albumin, globulin, packed cell volume and hemoglobin. Results: The results obtained from control group, second and third trimesters, recorded as Mean (SEM) were 134.60(3.12) μg/L, 101.20(4.48) μg/L and 91.87(3.42) μg/L respectively for iron; 69.12(0.80) g/L, 63.60(0.71) g/L and 57.74(0.75) g/L for total proteins; 42.95(0.92) g/L, 35.74(1.00) g/L and 35.26(0.64) g/L for albumin; 26.77(1.00) g/L, 27.78(1.07) g/L and 22.93(0.88) g/L for globulin; 32.80(0.36%), 27.92(0.37%) and 27.73(0.34%) for packed cell volume, and 11.25(0.11) g/L, 9.59(0.13) g/L and 9.57(0.14) g/L for hemoglobin respectively. These results showed that all the parameters decreased significantly in pregnancy (P<0.001) except globulin that did not show immediate, significant decrease. Conclusion: There is a general decrease in the nutrition parameters studied among the pregnant women from our study area, indicating under-nutrition. Urgent measures should be taken to improve the nutritional status of rural dwellers especially the antioxidant micronutrients.
Select your language of interest to view the total content in your interested language