Paediatric-Based Reference Values For Serum Lipid Profile In Zaria

  • S A Akuyam
  • H S Isah
  • W N Ogala


Considering the fact that serum lipids are lower in children than in adults, there is the need to obtain separate reference values for children worldwide. This would be needed to improve on the diagnosis and subsequent assessment of children with clinical conditions that involve lipid abnormalities. To the best of our knowledge, there are very scanty reports on the reference values of serum lipids in children in African countries, including Nigeria and only few laboratories in these countries have reference values for paediatric patients. This study was conducted to establish reference values for serum lipid profile in 1-3 years children in Zaria. A total of 115 randomly selected apparently healthy children were studied. These consisted of 38, 40 and 37 children in groups I (first year), II (second years) and III (third years) respectively. There were 60 male and 55 female children. Serum concentrations of total cholesterol (TC), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglyceride (TG), very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C) and TC/HDL-C ratio (atherogenic index) were measured. The reference ranges and mean±SEM of serum TC, LDL-C, HDL-C, TG, VLDL-C and TC/HDL-C for the total group of children were 1.55-5.42 and 2.89±0.12; 0.50-3.29 and 1.28±0.15; 0.45-2.77 and 1.12±0.14; 0.93-3.43 and 0.79± 0.14; 0.17-0.72 and 0.35± 0.14 mmol/L and 1.01-4.74 and 2.19±0.13 respectively. There were no sex differences in all these parameters. Serum levels of TC, LDL-C, HDL-C and TC/HDL-C in the 3 age groups were also statistically similar (p>0.05). Concentrations of TG and VLDL-C were lower (p<0.001) in group II than in I. These values were also significantly lower (p<0.02) in group III than in I. Serum TG and VLDL-C in groups II and III were statistically comparable (p>0.05). Concentrations of serum TC, TG and VLDL-C decrease with advancing age during first three years of life, with more marked decrease between first and second years. The results obtained in the present study differed from others obtained in healthy children elsewhere in the world. This study also demonstrates that serum lipids obtained in children were lower than those reported in adult Nigerian population. It can be recommended that the reference values established in this study be utilized for the interpretation of serum lipid results in pre-school children in Nigerian hospitals and possibly elsewhere in Africa.

Keywords: Serum lipid profile, serum lipids, reference values, age, sex.

Annals of Nigerian Medicine Vol. 2 (2) 2006: pp. 15-19

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eISSN: 0331-3131