To determine the prevalence of anemia among pregnant women and the associated factors and perinatal outcomes according to two different diagnostic criteria: the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria.
Cohort study, operationalized through a database. The sample was comprised of 781 pregnant women who had laboratory data regarding hemoglobin levels during the second trimester of pregnancy. Anemia was diagnosed when hemoglobin <11 g/dL according to the WHO and <10.5 g/dL according to the CDC. Factors possibly associated with anemia were identified by adjusting Poisson uni and multivariate regression models. In order to analyze the association between perinatal outcomes and anemia, the chi-square test and Fisher's exact test were performed.
The prevalence of anemia was 22.9% and 10.9% according to the WHO and the CDC, respectively. A significantly higher risk of Low Birth Weight was found in children of anemic women, regardless of the diagnostic criteria used, while a greater risk of having a Small for Gestational Age newborns was seen only when the CDC criterion was applied.
Anemia during pregnancy remains an important public health issue, but its magnitude may be overestimated due to overly sensitive assessment criteria.

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