Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition

The Global Nutrition Lab includes a portfolio of externally funded research on maternal, child, and adolescent nutrition in low- and middle-income countries. Our current focus is research on “Iron-deficiency anemia and non-iron deficiency anemia among pregnant women in Nagpur, India” funded by the Thrasher Research Fund (Principal Investigator: Locks). This study is conducted with collaborators at the Lata Medical Research Foundation (LMRF) in Nagpur, India and the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH).

Research Questions

Questions we aim to answer include the following:

  • What is the relative burden of iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) compared to anemia due to other causes (non-iron deficiency anemia, NIDA) in pregnantwomen in Nagpur India?
  • Are IDA and NIDA differentially associated with birth outcomes and infant health outcomes? Is hemoglobin in the first or third trimester differentially associated with infant health outcomes?
  • What is the content of iron and other nutrients in the diets in women in Nagpur? Do dietary factors in the first or third trimesters of pregnancy predict birth outcomes?
  • What is the coverage and adherence of pregnant women in Nagpur with the national iron-folic acid (IFA) program? Are there opportunities to strengthen implementation in the Nagpur area?

The study includes detailed questionnaires in which mothers share information about their:

  1. Exposure and adherence with the national iron-folic acid supplementation program
  2. Diet during pregnancy as assess with a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ)
  3. Blood draws from women and infants to assess hemoglobin and iron parameters

Study Sample

This research is conducted among a sub-sample of women enrolled in the NICHD Global Network for Women’s and Children Health Research Maternal and Newborn Health Registry (Site PIs for Nagpur, India are Dr. Patricia Hibberd of BUSPH and Dr. Archana Patel of the Lata Medical Research Foundation, India).