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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 35-40

Pattern of haemoglobin among high and low altitude children of Southwestern Saudi Arabia

Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Fahaid H Al-Hashem
Chairman, Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, P.O. Box 641, Abha
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 23012101

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Objective: To determine the levels of haemoglobin and to study some of its correlates in high and low altitude children of the Southwestern region of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 1331 Saudi children aged 1-15 years born and living permanently at high altitude (2800-3150 m above sea level) and 1185 Saudi children of comparable age born and living permanently at low altitude (500 m above sea level) was conducted. Their haemoglobin levels were estimated by using cyanmethaemoglobin method and correlated with age, weight and height. Results: The mean haemoglobin levels were significantly greater in highland children compared with lowland children (p<0.0001 for both boys and girls). There were no significant differences in the mean haemoglobin levels between boys and girls at each study site. In both high and lowland children haemoglobin levels rose with age although lowland girls showed a drop beyond the age of 11-13 years and highland girls did not show any increase beyond the age of 9-11 years. In both boys and girls haemoglobin was found to be positively and significantly correlated with weight and height. Conclusions: The difference in haemoglobin levels between high and lowland children was attributed to the combined effect of high altitude hypoxia and the higher incidence of tropical infections among lowland children.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010