Food insecurity and micronutrient status among ghanaian women planning to become pregnant

Ruth Adisetu Pobee, Sixtus Aguree, Esi Komeley Colecraft, Alison D. Gernand, Laura E. Murray-Kolb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We examined the association between food insecurity (FIS) and micronutrient status among Ghanaian women planning to become pregnant. A cross-sectional analysis was completed of 95 women aged 18–35 years, living in the Upper Manya Krobo District in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Questionnaires were administered to collect sociodemographic and food security data; weight and height were measured. Blood was drawn from an antecubital vein; one drop was used to assess hemoglobin via Hemocue. Zinc and copper were analyzed using flame atomic spectrophotometry while iron biomarkers, retinol and 25-hydroxyvitamin D were analyzed using ELISA, ultra-performance liquid chromatography and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, respectively. Logistic regression models were used to determine the relationship between food insecurity (FIS) and micronutrient deficiencies. FIS was reported among 23% of the households, while micronutrient deficiencies ranged from 7–28% irrespective of FIS status. Retinol concentrations were negatively associated with FIS (p = 0.043) after controlling for covariates, although levels were within the normal range in both groups. No statistically significant associations between FIS and micronutrient deficiencies were found. Among those with FIS, 59% were deficient in at least one nutrient with 18% deficient in two nutrients. Unmarried women were at higher risk of FIS (p = 0.017) than married women. FIS was associated with retinol concentrations but not other micronutrient biomarkers in Ghanaian women expecting to become pregnant in the next 6 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number470
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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