oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Iron, folate and vitamin B12 in severe protein-energy malnutrition

Volume 34, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



The prevalence of iron, folate and vitamin B12 deficiencies in 48 severely malnourished children was studied using haematological and biochemical parameters. Seventy percent of studied children were anaemic on admission. The anaemia was mild-to-moderate in the majority (mean Hb 9,8 2,1). Haematological and biochemical evidence for iron deficiency was uncommon on admission. However, serum ferritin levels declined significantly on re-feeding. Nineteen percent of patients had red cell folate levels < 100 ng/dl but only in three was this associated with low serum folate levels < 3 ng/ml. Mean haemoglobin values and red cell indices did not change significantly during re-feeding.

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