Aim: Iron deficiency is one of the micronutrient disorder affecting mostly children in the
developing countries. There is paucity of information on this subject in our locality.
Aim: This study was aimed at assessing the baseline iron status of apparently healthy children
aged 1-8 years in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Nigeria.
Methods: Four biochemical iron indicators; serum iron (SI), total iron binding capacity
(TIBC), transferrin saturation (TS) and serum ferritin(SF), were used for the assessment. Standard
colorimetric and Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) procedures were followed for the
estimation of all variables.
Results: The mean values of the parameters estimated were serum iron, 19.8 + 21.8 umol/l;
TIBC, 62.9 + 46.0 umol/l, transferrin saturation, 29.2 + 18.5 %, serum ferritin, 50.6 + 62.3 nglml
The mean values of all the parameters estimated in the under fives were found to be significantly
lower than the values obtained in the five to 8 years group (P < 0.01). Similarly a sex related
difference in the mean values was obtained in all variables except transferrin saturation. The
prevalence of iron deficiency among the participants by single ferritin (<15 nglml) model was
13.75%. Combination of serum ferritin (< 15 nglml) and transferrin saturation (< 16%) gave a
prevalence of 7.5%.
Conclusion: We concluded that iron deficiency is more pronounced among children under five
years of age and this finding in consistent with what obtains in the literature worldwide