Estimation of Serum Ferritin Level to Detect Iron Deficiency Anemia in Children less than 5 Years of age
Objective: To evaluate serum ferritin levels in children less than five years as screening measure for iron deficiency anemia (IDA).
Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at Benazir Bhutto Hospital Rawalpindi from 1st March 2010 to 31st Jan 2011. A simple random sampling technique was adopted for study proceedings. Fifty children of less than five (5) years of age were enrolled in the study. The study population included children, aged less than five presenting at pediatrics outpatient department. The children with known hematological abnormality, infection, inflammation were excluded from the study. Blood complete picture for hemoglobin and serum ferritin level estimation were the diagnostic tools used and correlated afterwards. Data were collected and entered in Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS, version 16) for analysis. Descriptive statistics were calculated. Chi-square test was applied for evaluation and calculation of significance in each of the characteristics of the population at P ≤ 0.05.
Results: A total of 50 children with age range of 3-60 months, were recruited for the study. The study population was categorized into three groups; Infants (3-12 months), Toddlers (13-23 months) and Preschool-age (24-60 months) groups. The mean hematocrit of the study population was 33.5 (2.8%) and the mean serum ferritin level was 52.4 ng/ml with a range value of 0.2-353.0 ng/ml. Thirty-eight (38) patients of the study population were iron-deficient, with serum ferritin levels of less than 12 ng/ml.
Conclusion: Serum ferritin level is a good screening test for detection of iron deficiency in children Key words: Children less than five years, Iron deficiency anemia, Serum ferritin levels.
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