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Background: Despite available evidences that pregnant women are specific vulnerable target population for dehydration and the importance of adequate hydration to both the mother and the developing fetus, studies assessing the prevalence and associated risk factors of dehydration among pregnant women are limited.
Aim: The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence and associated risk factors of dehydration among pregnant women in Uyo metropolis, Southern Nigeria.
Methods: A total of 316 pregnant women from selected obstetric centers in Uyo Metropolis met the inclusion criteria and were evaluated for socio-demographics, lifestyle-related behaviors and urinary specific gravity using standard instruments. Mean values were calculated and used for the determination of the hydration status of the participants. Univariate analysis was used to assess the relationship between socio-demographic variables and lifestyle related behaviours and prevalence of dehydration. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence interval for factors associated with dehydration in pregnancy.
Results: About 14.6% of the pregnant women were dehydrated, and factors associated with high prevalence of dehydration were age between 26 and 35 years, being married, urban residence, acquiring a tertiary education and income between 20,000 and 50,000 naira. Others were, null-parity, third trimester of pregnancy, physically active, poor dietary habits, alcohol consumption, inadequate water intake and short sleep duration. Inadequate water intake (1-2 cups of water) (OR=6.10,C.I=2.029-18.360) or 5-7cups of water (OR=4.04,C.I=1.385-11.785), consumption of mostly high carbohydrate diets (OR=3.55,C.I=1.003-12577), consumption of mostly high protein diets (OR=3.25,C.I=1.893-11.844) and craving for strange foods(OR=3.71, C.I=1.563-8.81) significantly increased the odds for dehydration among the participants.
Conclusion: Demographic, obstetric and lifestyle-related factors drive the high prevalence of dehydration among pregnant women and should be considered in designing intervention programs to prevent dehydration among pregnant women in our communities.
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