|Online ISSN : 2349-8080
Issues : 12 per year
Publisher : Excellent Publishers
Email : email@example.com
Although a rise in white blood cells (WBC) count in the late stage of pregnancy could be a reflection of stress, especially in the third trimester of pregnancy, due to the rapidly growing mass of the foetus and uterus on one hand, or it may be signifying the immunosuppressant factors postulated to be present in the serum of a pregnant woman on the other hand. Furthermore, the presence of infections may also be responsible for the rise. Stress, immunosuppressant factor or infection, all can contribute to an unfavourable outcome of pregnancy. However, the variations in the WBC among third trimester pregnant women in our setting are yet to be profiled. The present longitudinal cohort study considered 160 apparently healthy third trimester pregnant women and compared same with 47 non-pregnant controls (26.89 ± 5.8 vs 28.02 ± 6.8 years, p=0.265). Although total WBC (tWBC) significantly rises per visit among the pregnant group (8.13 ± 1.73 × 103/µL to 8.78 ± 1.83 × 103/µL, p= 0.0012) compared to the non-pregnant control group (7.39 ± 2.94 × 103/µL to 6.51 ± 1.95 × 103/µL, p= 0.09), lymphocytes and monocytes counts were lower in the pregnant group compared to the non-pregnant controls (lymphocytes 0.89 ± 0.42 × 103/µL vs 1.51 ± 1.21, p<0.05; monocytes 0.31 ± 0.10 × 103/µL vs 0.43 ± 0.29 × 103/µL, p<0.05). In conclusion, the coexistence of high tWBC but low lymphocytes and monocytes counts in the pregnant group may be a reason infection in pregnancy is a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in Sokoto state and it may offer a useful target for reducing maternal illnesses. Further studies to identify additional stressors (aside from the pregnancy itself) during pregnancy is needed in Sokoto with a view to reducing such stressors so that the immunity of pregnant mothers may be boosted and hence maternal morbidity and mortality can be reduced.