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Blood pressure, Alkaline Phosphstase, serum Globulin, A: G ratio in pregnant women and matched controls in a population with tapioca as staple food

Sona Truman, M. A. Kunjamma, Mary Chacko, Manjula D.

Background: Tapioca has been the staple food for the people of Kerala, India. Recent studies show that it has become more toxic due to changes in environment. There have been few studies in recent years to observe the effects of consuming more toxic tapioca.

Objective: The combination of pregnancy and tapioca diet on blood pressure (BP), serum alkaline phosphatase, serum globulin and A:G ratio are studied to assess the general health and liver function.

Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study design was conducted in the Obstetrics out-patient department of a tertiary care hospital of central Kerala. The systolic and diastolic blood pressures were determined. The serum alkaline phosphatase, total proteins, and serum albumin levels were tested in a sample of blood collected under aseptic conditions. The serum globulin values were calculated from total protein and serum albumin values by subtraction. The A:G values were calculated by dividing the values of serum albumin and serum globulin. This study was conducted after obtaining ethical clearance from the institute.

Result: There were significant differences (p = 0.002) in the mean values of systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the third-trimester pregnancy. There was significant difference in the mean value of serum alkaline phosphatase levels in the first trimester (p = 0.007), the second trimester (p = 0.001) and the third trimester (p = 0.000001). There was significant difference in the mean value of serum globulin in the first trimester (p = 0.03), the second trimester (p = 0.0003), and the third trimester (0.000008). The A:G ratio showed significant difference in the first trimester (p = 0.0003), the second trimester (p = 0.0001), and the third trimester (p = 0.001).

Conclusion: The above study shows that there is significant decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure towards the third trimester compared to normal controls. This is comparable to other similar studies. The alkaline phosphatase levels are also comparable with the values obtained in other studies. The serum globulin values were also comparable to other similar studies. The decreasing A:G ratio values were unique to this population.

Key words: Blood pressure, alkaline phosphatase, serum globulin, A:G ratio, pregnancy, tapioca

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