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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 61-65

An assessment of micronutrient deficiency: A comparative study of children with protein-energy malnutrition and apparently healthy controls in Kano, Northern Nigeria

1 Department of Biochemistry, Bayero University Kano, Kano State, Nigeria
2 Department of Chemical Pathology Immunology, Bayero University Kano, Kano State, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine Bayero University Kano, Kano State, Nigeria
4 Department of Paediatrics Bayero University Kano, Kano State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Idris Yahaya Mohammed
Department of Chemical Pathology and Immunology, Bayero University and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, PMB 3452, Kano
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DOI: 10.4103/1119-0388.198124

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Background: Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) and micronutrient deficiency remain the common problems affecting children in the developing world. This study is aimed at determining the prevalence of micronutrient deficiency among children with PEM. Materials and Methods: The study was comparative and cross-sectional in design, which assessed 45 children with PEM attending the pediatric outpatient clinic of Hasiya Bayero Paediatric Hospital and 45 "apparently healthy" children presenting for routine vaccination. Patients were classified as having either marasmus or kwashiorkor using the Wellcome classification. Five milliliters of blood was collected for the analysis of serum calcium, iron, and zinc using spectrophotometry, as well as for Vitamin A using Bassey et al.'s procedure. Results: Mean age, height, and weight were higher in malnourished than the control group (P < 0.05). Similarly, levels of zinc, calcium, and Vitamin A were statistically higher (P < 0.05) in malnourished than the control group. The prevalence of micronutrient deficiency (PEM vs. control) was found to be: calcium (80% vs. 55%), iron (46% vs. 24%), Vitamin A (80% vs. 55%), and zinc (48% vs. 24%). The prevalence of micronutrient deficiency (kwashiorkor vs. marasmus) was found to be: calcium (100% vs. 71%), iron (50% vs. 45%), Vitamin A (90% vs. 77%), and zinc (70% vs. 42%). Conclusion: Micronutrient deficiency is more common in PEM children than healthy controls.

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