Background: H. pylori infection has been suggested to interfere with micronutrient metabolism and influence pregnancy outcomes. Objectives: This study therefore seeks to document the prevalence of H. pylori seroposivity among pregnant women and to determine its impact on some trace element status and pregnancy outcomes. Materials and methods: Three hundred and forty nine consenting pregnant women aged 15-40 years (mean; 27. 04 ± 4. 75 years) and gestational age ≤ 25 weeks (mean 21.77 ± 3.14 wks) attending antenatal clinic at Federal Medical Centre, Abakaliki, between July 2007 and September 2008 participated in the study. H. Pylori antibody (IgG) was determined by a new generation ELISA method. Plasma copper, iron and zinc were analysed using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (Bulk Scientific AVG 210 Model) while haemoglobin and albumin were analysed using standard haematological and biochemical techniques. Both maternal sociodemographic and anthropometric parameters were recorded at recruitment. The women were followed-up till delivery after which neonatal anthropometrics and other birth outcomes were recorded. Results: H. pylori seroprevalence of 24.1% (84/349) was recorded with higher prevalence in multiparous and older women. H. pylori infected women had significantly higher BMI (29.00 ± 3.89 vs. 26.86 ± 4.10, p = 0.020) and lower (p > 0.05) plasma levels of Cu, Fe, Zn, albumin, and haemoglobin when compared to non-infected women. Also H. pylori infected women had significantly (p < 0.05) higher rates of convulsion and concomitant illnesses than their non-infected counterparts, although there was no difference in the two groups for other pregnancy outcomes. Conclusion: H. pylori infection during pregnancy seems to interfere with trace element metabolism and contribute significantly to increased maternal morbidity. Prior to confirmation of these findings in a well controlled randomised trial, it is suggested that pregnant women be screened for H. pylori infection to reduce H. pylori associated morbidities during pregnancy
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