Common pitfalls

Atmospheric oxygen levels decrease with increasing altitude and haemoglobin levels rise to compensate. Haemoglobin values should thus be adjusted for altitude.

Low haemoglobin levels may be due to short birth intervals, blood loss or illness unrelated to poor nutrition. Moreover, those attending antenatal care constitute a self-selected group not representative of all pregnant women; if the source of the data is routine screening during antenatal care, such data should be treated with caution.

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