Jun 23 2013, 3:06am CDT | by Luigi Lugmayr
Serious iron deficiency tends to affect several women in poorer countries.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) currently recommends an iron dose of 60 mg per day for pregnant women.
For every additional 10 mg of iron taken each day, up to a maximum of 66 mg per day, the risks of anaemia and low birth weight decreased, the study said.
Birth weight was found to increase by 15 grams with each 10 mg of iron taken per day.
But researchers found no reduction in the risk of premature birth as a result of iron use, BBC said.
Previous studies have suggested there could be a higher risk of low birth weight and premature birth in pregnant women with anaemia.
The study said iron deficiency is the most common cause of anaemia during pregnancy, especially in low and middle income countries, affecting about 32 million pregnant women in 2011.
"The recently estimated prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia during pregnancy in Europe was estimated to be 16.2 percent in 2011," said Batool Haider, study author from the department of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard University's school of public health.
However, experts said women who are intolerant to iron can suffer from indigestion, bloating and other stomach problems. But reducing the dose should also reduce the side effects.
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