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S Afr Med J. 1994 Jul;84(7):416-20.

Haematological condition of the San (Bushmen) relocated from Namibia to South Africa.

Author information

1
Department of Haematology, University of the Orange Free State, Bloemfontein.

Abstract

A cross-sectional study was undertaken to assess the haematological condition of the San (Bushmen) relocated from Namibia to South Africa. We studied 238 subjects--145 men and 93 women; none of the women was pregnant. We performed full blood counts and estimations of serum vitamin B12, folate, ferritin and erythrocyte folate concentrations. The mean haemoglobin concentration among the men was 14.7 g/dl and 19 (13%) were anaemic; among the women it was 13.8 g/dl and 18 (19%) were anaemic. Thirteen (9%) of the men and 22 (24%) of the women had low concentrations of serum ferritin, and 38 (26%) of the men and 22 (24%) of the women had erythrocyte folate concentrations of less than 270 nmol/l. Three (2%) men and 4 (4%) women had serum vitamin B12 concentrations of less than 120 pmol/l. Eighty-one (56%) of the men and 76 (82%) of the women had eosinophilia, probably because of parasitic infections. It would appear from this and previous studies that prolonged exposure of these hunter-gatherers to a Western lifestyle has resulted in a high prevalence of anaemia, caused by low iron and folate intakes, complicated by alcohol consumption.

PMID:
7709307
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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