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Reading: Vitamin B12 status among underprivileged preschool children: experience from two tea estates

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Vitamin B12 status among underprivileged preschool children: experience from two tea estates

Authors:

S T Kudagammana ,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, LK
About S T
Senior Lecturer in Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya
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K Mohotti,

Tea Research Institute, Talawakelle, LK
About K
Research Officer, Tea Research Institute, Talawakelle
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K Maduwage,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, LK
About K

Lecturer in Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya 

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S Marasinghe

Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, LK
About S
Temporary lecturer, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya 
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Abstract

Background: Vitamin B12 (B12) is found only in foods of animal origin. The deficiency in children is associated with delay in growth and development, neurological abnormalities and megaloblastic anaemia. There is no prior study done on Sri Lankan children to assess the B12 status.

Objective: To find out the serum B12 status in a group of preschool children in the tea estate sector and to assess the risk factors for B12 deficiency 

Method: Data was collected from preschool children of St Coombs tea estate, Talawakelle and Idalgashinna Bio tea project, Haldummulla, Haputale. The children were examined by three experienced medical officers for their growth and development and for the presence of other nutritional deficiencies including B12 deficiency. Blood was taken from the children and their mothers for full blood count (FBC) and B12 levels. Blood was analysed for FBC by an autoanalyser. The blood film was assessed by a Consultant Haematologist for features of B12 deficiency. Serum was separated and stored at -200 C until the time of analysis. Serum B12 was assessed using an ELISA kit.

Results: There were no children with overt clinical B12 deficiency. The red cell indices and the blood pictures of the children did not reveal haematological features suggestive of B12 deficiency. Due to non-availability of sufficient data on the FBCs of mothers, maternal FBC was not analysed. All the B12 values were above the cut off value of 203pg/ml. There was no significant difference of B12 values between the Talawakelle and 

the Haputale samples. There was a positive linear relationship between maternal and children’s B12 levels in both Haputale and Talawakelle but the associations were not statistically significant

Conclusion: There is no clinical, haematological or biochemical B12 deficiency in the study sample.

(Key words: micronutrient deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency, malnutrition in Sri Lanka, cobalamin, anaemia in children)

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v45i2.8118                     

 

How to Cite: Kudagammana, S.T., Mohotti, K., Maduwage, K. and Marasinghe, S., 2016. Vitamin B12 status among underprivileged preschool children: experience from two tea estates. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 45(2), pp.111–115. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v45i2.8118
Published on 06 Jun 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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