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Clin Lab Haematol. 1980;2(3):169-78.

Haematological indices in normal negro children: a Jamaican cohort from birth to five years.


Haematological indices, including total haemoglobin, mean cell haemoglobin concentration, red cell count, mean cell volume, mean cell haemoglobin, reticulocytes, and serum iron values, in a cohort of 243 randomly selected Negro children with normal haemoglobin genotype, followed from birth to 5 years, are reported. Total haemoglobin fell rapidly from high levels at birth to a plateau at 2-6 months; a secondary fall occurred after 6 months and a gradual increase after 18 months. The red cell count also fell rapidly, but increased after 2 months to a plateau and then slowly declined from age 1-5. Mean cell volume and mean cell haemoglobin fell continuously from birth to the lowest values at 15 months and then progressively increased to the age of 5 years. Serum iron levels were low at one year of age (mean 9.7 mumol/l) increasing slowly by age 4 and sharply by age 5. Mean cell haemoglobin concentration fell gradually to 1-1 1/2 years and then increased progressively to age 5. Values for Hb, MCHC, MCV, and MCH were consistently and often significantly lower in males before the age of 2 years, compatible with greater depletion of iron stores. Serum iron values were generally lower in males but there was no sex difference at one year when highly significant differences in Hb, MCHC, MCV, and MCH occurred. The cause of sex differences in early haematological development is currently unclear.

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