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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

Print version ISSN 0256-9574

Abstract

MUKAYA, Japheth E et al. Prevalence and morphological types of anaemia and hookworm infestation in the medical emergency ward, Mulago Hospital, Uganda. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2009, vol.99, n.12, pp. 881-886. ISSN 0256-9574.

INTRODUCTION: Anaemia is common worldwide, although the burden is highest in developing countries where nutrient deficiencies and chronic infections are prevalent. OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence and morphological types of anaemia and assess the hookworm burden among patients in the medical emergency ward at Mulago national referral hospital, Uganda. METHODS: In a cross-sectional descriptive study 395 patients were recruited by systematic random sampling and their socio-demographic characteristics and clinical details collected. A complete blood count and peripheral film examination were done and stool examined for hookworm ova. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Data were processed using Epi-Info version 6 and Stata version 9. The chi-square test was used for categorical variables and Student's t-test for non-categorical variables. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine factors predictive of anaemia. RESULTS: Of the patients 255 (64.6%) had anaemia. The prevalence was higher among males (65.8%) than females (63.7%). Fatigue (odds ratio (OR) 2.1, confidence interval (CI) 1.37 - 3.24), dizziness (OR 1.64, CI 1.07 - 2.44), previous blood transfusion (OR 2.83, CI 1.32 - 6.06), lymphadenopathy (OR 2.99, CI 1.34 - 6.66) and splenomegaly (OR 5.22, CI 1.78 - 15.28) were significantly associated with anaemia. Splenomegaly, low body mass index (BMI) (<19) and being HIV positive were independently associated with anaemia. The commonest type of anaemia was hypochromic microcytic (34.1%). Only 10.6% of anaemic patients had hookworm infestation. CONCLUSIONS: In our study the prevalence of anaemia (64.6%) was very high. Splenomegaly, HIV infection and low BMI were independently associated with anaemia. The commonest type of anaemia was microcytic hypochromic (34.1%). There was a low prevalence of hookworm infestation.

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