Malnutrition remains a major health problem in the third world countries, and is a key factor to the high death rate among children below five years old. This study aimed to determine serum vitamin A, mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC), and albumin levels of malnourished children and their well-fed counterparts. A total of one hundred (100) children comprising of fifty (50) malnourished children under the age of five years and fifty (50) well-fed age-matched children were recruited into this study. Mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) measurement was used to categorize the children into malnourished and the well-fed groups. The malnourished were further classified into kwashiorkor and marasmic cohorts. Serum vitamin A and albumin levels were determined by colorimetric methods. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 20.0 statistical package, differences between and variations among groups were determined by Student’s t-test and ANOVA respectively while the association between variables by Pearson’s correlation. Differences were considered statistically significant at p≤0.05. Serum vitamin A, MUAC and albumin levels of the well-fed group were significantly higher (p<0.05) than those of the malnourished. Comparing the well-fed, the kwashiorkor and the marasmic groups, the mean serum vitamin A, MUAC and albumin of the well-fed were significantly higher (p=0.001) than those of the kwashiorkor and marasmic groups. Mean albumin level of the kwashiorkor was significantly lower (p<0.05) than that of marasmic group. Mean MUAC of the kwashiorkor subjects was significantly higher (p<0.05) than that of the marasmic subjects. Serum vitamin A was not significantly different (p=0.724) between the kwashiorkor and the marasmic groups. In the marasmic subjects mean serum vitamin A correlates negatively with albumin (r= -0.517, p=0.011). In the kwashiorkor subjects, serum vitamin A correlates negatively with albumin (r=-0.080, p=0.690). In the well-fed children, serum vitamin A correlates positively with albumin (r=0.340, p=0.016). Conclusion: malnourished children with kwashiorkor and marasmus have lower albumin, serum vitamin A and MUAC compared with the well-fed children.
Egbe Edmund Richard,
Eworo Raymond Ekong,
Albumin and Serum Vitamin A Status of Malnourished Children, European Journal of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences.
Vol. 4, No. 1,
2018, pp. 6-11.
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