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Nutritional and haematological parameters of cleft lip and/or palate patients in Lagos, Nigeria.

IO Fadeyibi
AA Fasawe
PI Jewo
AA Adeniyi
BO Ogunbanjo
C Saalu
OV Ogunbanjo
SA Ademiluyi


Introduction: Cleft Lip and Palate (CLP) deformities are the most common congenital abnormalities of the orofacial structures. The deformity is associated with certain peculiar problems including feeding disorders and recurrent infections. These may combine to affect the nutritional status of the patients. This study was carried out to assess the prevalence of malnutrition among patients with CLP deformities in Lagos, review the prevalence of anaemia and the burden of bacterial infections.
Materials/methods: Serum albumin levels of patients with CLP invited for surgical intervention in Lagos between 2006 and 2008 were assessed to determine the nutritional status, the Packed Cell Volume for the presence of anaemia and total White Cell Count (WBC) to screen for the possibility of bacterial infection.
Results: Two hundred and twenty five patients were studied comprising of 112 males and 113 females. Mean age was 5.05 ± 7.73 years. One hundred and one (44.89%) patients had complete cleft of the lip and palate, 27.22% had cleft lip, 13.78% had cleft of the lip and hard palate, while 7.11% had cleft of the soft palate alone. Various types of rare cleft deformities occurred in 8.88% patients out of which macrostomia or lateral cleft constituted 6.67%. Forty-eight (21.3%)
patients had malnutrition. The type of CLP deformities was found to have no significant effect on the serum albumin level (p = 0. 089). Sixty-eight (30.2%) patients had anaemia. There was an association between the types of CLP deformities and the PCV levels (P=0.001). Twenty-two (9.8%) patients showed haematologic evidences of on-going bacterial infections with raised total WBC count.
Conclusion: The prevalence of anaemia in patients with CLP is however higher than that of the general population. Patients with CLP require nutrition support and continuous medical monitoring.