March 1991

Leukopenia, Neutropenia, and Reduced Hemoglobin Levels in Healthy American Blacks

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Medicine, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md. Dr Reed is now with the Letterman Army Medical Center, Presidio of San Francisco, Calif.

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(3):501-505. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400030063011

Hematologic profiles of 462 persons, mostly active-duty service members, were studied to determine whether hematologic differences between blacks and whites exist in a healthy population. Whites had significantly greater mean concentrations of leukocytes (6.73 vs 5.95×109/L), neutrophils (3.96 vs 3.16 × 109/L), and hemoglobin (153 vs 135 g/L for men, 147 vs 125 g/L for women). The mean differences were largely due to relatively symmetric shifts in the frequency distributions for these cell concentrations. No significant correlation was found between neutrophil count and morbidity from infection as measured by a standardized questionnaire. The use of separate hematologic reference values for blacks and whites should be considered.

(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:501-505)