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September 1984

Hematocrit Values in White, Black, and American Indian Children With Comparable Iron Status: Evidence to Support Uniform Diagnostic Criteria for Anemia Among All Races

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco (Dr Yip), and the Departments of Internal Medicine (Dr Schwartz) and Pediatrics (Dr Deinard), University of Minnesota, and the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health (Dr Deinard), Minneapolis.

Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(9):824-827. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140470024008

• We compared the hematocrit values of 425 black and 164 American Indian children with an equal number of white children who were matched for sex, age, and iron nutrition status based on serum ferritin level. Black children were found to have a mean hematocrit value 0.7% lower than that of white, matched controls. No hematocrit difference was found between American Indian children and their white controls. This finding in blacks is consistent with those of previous series, except the magnitude of the hematocrit difference is smaller. The lower value in blacks may be accounted for by mild thalassemias, which are associated with lower hematocrit values. The use of the same diagnostic criteria for anemia among all races will permit uniform detection of nutritional anemia as well as a greater rate of diagnosis of certain hereditary hemoglobinopathies.

(AJDC 1984;138:824-827)