Assessment of Iron Status: Markers of Inflammatory and Immune Response in School Age Children
Iron deficiency is a public health problem based on the seriousness of its consequences on human health. This study assessed iron status, markers of inflammatory and immune functions of rural and urban school age children in selected Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Ogun state. A multistage sampling technique was used to select three hundred and twelve school age children from the three senatorial districts. A validated questionnaire was used to obtain information on socio-economic characteristics. Blood samples were analyzed for biochemical parameters and selected immune function markers (CD4, white blood cell differentials) were also measured using standard procedures. Data were analyzed using frequency counts, percentages, means, standard deviations, correlation. Results showed that 30.5% of the respondent families earned less than two hundred thousand naira annually. Also, 19.9% of the mothers in the rural sector had tertiary education. The study revealed the prevalence of iron deficiency to be 23.7%, aneamia was 16.3% while 13.1% of the anaemic children were due to iron deficiency aneamia. The result of the CRP showed a high risk in 13.8% and CD4 count was low in 16.7% of the children. Haemoglobin correlated positively with age (r= 0.144) and average annual income of the family(r=0.132), serum ferritin correlated positively with mothers age and household size (r= 0.159; r= 0.030). CRP positively correlated with annual income (r= 0.155). CD4 positively correlated with mothers age and education (r= 0.252; r= 0.142). Conclusively, significant relationship exists between socio economic and iron status (p<0.05) as well as the rate of inflammation and immune response in the children. Hence, Appropriate investigations for iron status and inflammation/infection screening, need to be integral in the evaluation of anaemia and its causes before anaemia control interventions are implemented.
Keywords: Immune, Inflammation, Anaemia, Reticulocyte