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The usefulness of zinc protoporphyrin as iron deficiency screening tool for Saudi children

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Blood samples from 240 Saudi children aged 1 day-72 months old were analysed for zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP), lead (Pb) and hematological parameters. Elevated blood zinc protoporphyrin concentrations ( >3.3 mug/g Hb) were found in 50.8%. These children had a mean blood ZPP concentration of 6.857 4.925 mug/g (3.35-43.7 mug/g). Blood lead levels >10 mug/dl were found in 8 children in the range of 10.45-61.08 mug/dl. On the other hand, Hb less than 11 g/dl were found in 51.6%. The correlation coefficient between the concentration of ZPP and the hematological parameters and age were tested. Significant negative correlation were found between ZPP concentrations and Hb, HCT, RBC and age. We conclude that the use of hematofluorometer to measure ZPP proved to be an effective and inexpensive screening tool for iron deficiency in children especially in communities where the prevalence of iron deficiency is high.
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Keywords: CHILDREN; IRON DEFICIENCY; LEAD EXPOSURE; SAUDI ARABIA; ZINC PROTOPORPHYRIN

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1997

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