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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 461-466

Hemoglobin level as a risk factor for lower respiratory tract infections in Lebanese children

Department of Pediatrics, Makassed General Hospital, Beirut, Lebanon

Correspondence Address:
Sawsan Mourad
Department of Pediatrics, Makassed General Hospital, Beirut
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Pneumonia is the biggest single cause of childhood death under the age of 5 years, and anemia affects approximately 30% of infants and children all over the world. Aim: Determination of the relationship between anemia and lower respiratory tract infection as a risk factor in Lebanese children. Patients and Methods A total number of two hundred infants and children aged nine months to twelve years were included; One hundred cases were hospitalized for lower respiratory tract infection in Department of Pediatrics, Makassed General Hospital, and one hundred healthy, age and sex matched controls, were selected from outpatient department. Complete blood count, iron level, ferritin level, and total iron binding capacity were taken if hemoglobin level less than eleven gram per deci-liter. In addition peripheral blood smear, chest radiograph and C-reactive protein were done to hospitalized cases. Definition of iron deficiency anemia and normal laboratory values were predetermined. Results: Anemia was found in 32% of hospitalized cases and 16% of healthy controls. Mean hemoglobin level was 9.99 ΁ 0.62 gram per deci-liter and 11.99 ΁ 0.92 gram per deci-liter in anemic and non-anemic group respectively with a significant P-value of 0.001. C-reactive protein levels and number hospitalization days were similar among the anemic and non-anemic group. History of recurrent chest infections was significantly higher in both anemic group and hospitalized cases compared to non-anemic group and healthy controls. Low hemoglobin level was a risk factor for lower respiratory tract infection with a P-value of 0.008. Conclusion: Anemic children were two times more susceptible to lower respiratory tract infection compared to the control group, and iron deficiency anemia was predominating. Accurate diagnosis and prevention of anemia, whatever its etiology, is essential.

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