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Serum total cholesterol and ferritin and blood haemoglobin concentrations in primary schoolchildren.
  1. J Hammond,
  2. S Chinn,
  3. H Richardson,
  4. R Rona
  1. Department of Public Health Medicine, United Medical School, Guy's Hospital, London.


    Serum total cholesterol and ferritin and haemoglobin concentrations were measured in blood samples obtained by venepuncture in 378 of 593 children aged 5-6 or 8-9 years from seven primary schools in Canterbury. This study formed part of an investigation to assess the feasibility of including a venepuncture procedure for monitoring purposes in primary schoolchildren. Although only one child had a very low haemoglobin concentration of 61 g/l, a large percentage, 25% in the rising 6 years and 7% in the rising 9 years, had concentrations between 100 and 115 g/l--that is, less than the reference fifth centile. Eight per cent had a serum ferritin concentration less than 8 micrograms/l. Cholesterol concentrations higher than 5.2 mmol/l were found in 20% of the 5-6 year olds and 23% of the 8-9 year olds, and in 19% of boys and 25% of girls. About 5% of children had cholesterol concentrations above 6 mmol/l. The number of children with anaemia, iron deficiency, and high cholesterol raises serious concerns about the nutritional and coronary heart disease risk of British children.

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