The Haematological Profile of Urban Black Africans Aged 15-64 Years in the Cape Peninsula

East Afr Med J. 1995 Jan;72(1):19-24.


A stratified probability sample (n = 986) with quotas was drawn from black residential areas in the Cape Peninsula, South Africa. Subjects (n = 819) aged 15-64 years, participated in a coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factor survey, the BRISK Study. Nutritional status and prevalence of CHD was determined in this population undergoing rapid urbanization. Full blood and differential white blood cell counts provided data to calculate population reference values based on the 95% reference limits of the haematological parameter. Mean haemoglobin concentrations (Hb) in men (14.0 g/dl) and women (12.4 g/dl) were +/- 1.5 g/dl lower than previous South African reports. Mean BRISK Hb values were very similar to the World Health Organization's Hb cutoff criteria (< 13 g/dl men; < 12 g/dl women), indicating a possible high prevalence of anaemia. Significantly higher (P < 0.05) mean values for red cell indices were confirmed in men, which also reflected equally higher red blood cell counts (RBC), haematocrit (HCT) and mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) values. Mean Hb values were significantly lower in the younger (15-24 years) and older (55-64 years) men compared with 25-54 year-olds (P < 0.05). Hypochromic microcytic anaemia was more prevalent in women, possibly due to iron deficiency (ID), while macrocytic anaemia was more prevalent in men. No significant differences were noted in mean total and differential white blood cell counts (WBC) between men and women.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Aging / blood
  • Blood Cell Count*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • South Africa
  • Urban Health*