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COJ Nursing & Healthcare

Ascorbate Deficiency among Childrens of African Descent with Protein Energy Malnutrition in Sokoto, North Western Nigeria

  • Open or Close Erhabor O1*, Abdullahi S1, Jiya NMA2, Van Dyke K3 and Erhabor T4

    1Department of Haematology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Nigeria

    2Department of Paediatrics, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Nigeria

    3School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry West Virginia University, USA

    4Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria

    *Corresponding author: Osaro Erhabor, Department of Haematology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Nigeria

Submission: February 26, 2018;Published: May 29, 2018

DOI: 10.31031/COJNH.2018.03.000558

ISSN: 2577-2007
Volume3 Issue2


Protein energy malnutrition is the most widespread nutritional deficiency disorder of mankind and continues to be a major public health burden particularly in developing countries. The aim of this case-control study was to determine the changes in the ascorbic acid levels among children with PEM in Sokoto, North Western Nigeria. The study included a total of 90 children (47 subjects with Protein Energy Malnutrition and 43 apparently healthy controls) aged 6 months-5 years, admitted to the Paediatric units of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital and Specialist Hospital, Sokoto. Ascorbic acid levels were assayed by a standard chemical method. Nutritional status was determined using the Welcome Trust Classification. Data were analyzed using SPSS 22.0 statistical package. A p-value ≤ 0.05 was considered significant in all statistical comparisons. The mean value of ascorbic acid was significantly lower among subjects (0.82±0.04mg/dl) compared to controls (1.06±0.02 mg/dl) (p=0.0001). Underweight subjects had lower ascorbic acid levels when compared with other types of protein energy malnutrition (p=0.0001). Protein energy malnutrition was more prevalent among children from low socioeconomic class whose mothers have no formal education. Marasmus was the most common type of protein energy malnutrition. Finding from this study seems a justification to monitor the ascorbic acid levels in children with PEM and to possibly offer ascorbic acid supplementation for those that are deficient. There is need for infant feeding practice to be strengthened by promoting exclusive breast feeding. There is also the need for increased enrollment of women in schools, enlightenment on nutritional education and empowerment of women to improve their socioeconomic status.

Keywords: Ascorbate deficiency; Children; African descent; Protein energy malnutrition; Sokoto; Nigeria

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