EVALUATION OF SERUM COBALAMIN LEVELS IN MALNOURISHED INFANTS IN UMUAHIA
*Obeagu E.I., Ibeh N.C., Essein U.C., Okafor C.N. and Amachukwu B.O.
The level of cobalmin was evaluated in the malnourished infants in Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia. Serum cobalamin levels were assayed in 30 healthy infants and 20 malnourished infants aged 1-12 months. Serum blood sample was used for the estimation of cobalamin using competitive ELIZA method. The result was analysed using t-test and level of significance set at p<0.05. The result showed significant increase (p<0.05) in serum cobalamin of malnourished infants (1490.2±170.2pg/ml) compared to the control subjects (345.6±237.4pg/ml). There was no significant difference (p>0.05) between the male and female malnourished infants(1495.6±540.3pg/ml) and (1475.2±173.4pg/ml) respectively. There was a significant increase (p<0.05) in level of cobalamin between malnourished infants aged (1483.0±172.3 pg/ml) 1-6 months compared to the control subjects (439.3±305.6 pg/ml) of the same age range and in malnourished infants with age range 7-12 months (1492.3±142.6 pg/ml) and control subjects within the same age bracket (352.1±240.5 pg/ml). The level of involvement of cobalamin in megaloblastic anaemia cannot be ascertained in this study because cobalamin was significantly high in the malnourished infants as they have started receiving treatment in the hospital including vitamin B complex.
Keywords: Cobalamin (Vitamin B12), malnourished infants, megalobalstic anaemia, Umuahia
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