Community-based self-reported symptoms of antepartum morbidities; The health burden and care-seeking patterns of rural Bangladeshi women

Mahbub E.Elahi Khan Chowdhury, Halida Hanum Akhter, Virasakdi Chongsuvivatwong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In Bangladesh there is a dearth on information relating to complications during pregnancy. We followed up 1,019 pregnant women in rural Bangladesh sampled from all the 4 old administrative divisions of the country. Trained female interviewers visited households of the pregnant women at four-week intervals and interviewed them for their current pregnancy-related complications. Out of a total of 3,812 antepartum visits the percentage of reported symptoms of bleeding, fits and convulsions, excessive vomiting, fever >3 days, urinary problems, palpitations and symptomatic anemia were 0.3, 0.7, 1.4, 4.0, 26.8, 46.5 and 78.3 respectively. Morbidities were considered to cause a health burden if they imposed constraints in daily activities of the pregnant women and they were weighted according to intensity of the constraint. For each morbidity, the mean intensity of burden per episode and the population burden per 1,000 person months of observation of all the women were calculated. For common sustaining morbidities like symptomatic anemia and urinary problems the population burden was much heavier than that for more serious but rare morbidities like bleeding and convulsions. Among the visits in which the women had any symptoms, the percentages of care-seeking for less frequently reported morbidities such as fits and convulsions, bleeding, fever >3 days, excessive vomiting were about 74, 50, 34 and 33% respectively, whereas those for more commonly reported complications such as urinary problems, symptomatic anemia and palpitations were less than 20%. Care for these morbidities was mostly sought from untrained providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)598-605
Number of pages8
JournalSoutheast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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