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The effectiveness of biochemical indexes for evaluating the nutrition states of children

Korean Journal of Pediatrics 2009;52(2):167-175.
Published online February 15, 2009.
The effectiveness of biochemical indexes for evaluating the nutrition states of children
Jae Kwang Kim1, Hyun Seong Jin1, Myung Ki Han1, Bong Seong Kim1, Choong Hwan Cha2, Kie Young Park1
1Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Ulsan University, Gangneung Asan Hospital, Gangneung, Korea
2Department of Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, Ulsan University, Gangneung Asan Hospital, Gangneung, Korea
소아에서 영양평가로서 생화학적 지표의 유용성
김재광1, 진현승1, 한명기1, 김봉성1, 차충환2, 박기영1
1울산대학교 의과대학 강릉아산병원 소아청소년과
2울산대학교 의과대학 강릉아산병원 진단검사의학교실
Correspondence: 
Kie Young Park, Email: drped@naver.com
Abstract
Purpose
: This study has been conducted to analyze whether the biochemical nutrition indexes might be useful and effective for evaluating the nutrition states of children.
Methods
: We evaluated 269 children, aged 3-9 years old, who had visited Gangneung Asan Hospital for elective surgery from January 2006 to December 2007, and examined their anthropometric and preoperative laboratory data with retrospective analysis. The children were classified into underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese groups according to body mass index (BMI). The biochemical nutrition indexes (total lymphocyte count (TLC), hemoglobin, hematocrit, serum albumin, cholesterol, et al) of each group were then analyzed statistically.
Results
: None of the groups showed statistically significant differences in TLC. Serum albumin decreased significantly in the underweight group. Red blood cell (RBC) count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and serum total cholesterol in the obese group were higher than in the normal weight group. None of the groups showed statistically significant increase in mean corpuscular volume or mean corpuscular hemoglobin, and it seems that the increase of hemoglobin and RBC count in the overweight and obese groups is due to the enhancement of erythropoiesis rather than iron metabolism. However, in females, almost all nutrition indexes except albumin were statistically significantly poor.
Conclusion
: Serum albumin, total cholesterol, RBC count, hemoglobin, and hematocrit were useful as nutrition indexes. However, except for albumin, these indexes were significantly poor for females. More control studies are needed to confirm the effectiveness of biochemical indexes for evaluating the nutritional state of children.
Key Words: Nutrition index, Nutrition assessment, Child, Body mass index, Total lymphocyte count


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