Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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Relationship between zinc levels and anthropometric indices among school-aged female children with sickle cell anemia in Enugu, Nigeria

V.O. Onukwuli, A.N. Ikefuna, A.R. Nwokocha, I.J. Emodi, C.B. Eke


Background: Sickle cell anaemia is one of the most common inherited disorders globally. Some affected children have retardation of physical growth which is also seen in those with zinc deficiency. Objective: To assess the relationship between zinc levels and anthropometric indices of SCA children.

Methods: A crosssectional, case-control study on young females aged 6-18 years at the UNTH, Enugu. Relevant clinical data as well as 24 hour dietary recall were collected. Weights and heights were measured using standard protocols and BMI calculated. Serum zinc was determined using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 15.0 while the level of statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.

Results: Eighty-one subjects with HbSS and 81 matched controls with HbAA were studied. Mean weights of 34.58 ± 12.76kg found in patients were significantly lower than 40.19 ± 13.37kg in controls. Also mean BMI of 16.27 ± 2.76kg/m2 in patients were significantly lower than 18.40 ± 2.96kg/m2 in controls (P = 0.01). Mean heights of patients were lower than that of the controls though not significantly so (P > 0.05). Mean serum zinc levels of 58.01 ± 10.58μg/d1 in patients were significantly lower than 68.37 ± 8.6μg/ dl in controls (P = 0.01). Positive correlation was found between serum zinc and BMI of the studied children. Serum zinc has a significant relationship with weight, height and BMI.

Conclusion: Reduced serum zinc in SCA children was associated with low anthropometric indices. Estimation of serum zinc is also recommended in SCA children with low anthropometric indices.

Keywords: Anthropometric indices, female children, serum zinc, sickle cell anemia
AJOL African Journals Online