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Minerals in hair, serum, and urine of healthy and anemic black children.
  • Published Date:
    1991 Sep-Oct
  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 106(5):557-563
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.39 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
  • Description:
    Hair mineral analysis can be used as a reliable screening test for heavy metals, but it is not an established method for defining nutritional and disease states. Wide variation in test results is a major problem in utilizing the technique for clinical purposes. Better reference values are needed, especially for children, as well as information about how hair mineral values correlate with body fluid values. A total of 48 black children were studied. Of these, 20 were normal children, ages 1 to 17; 12 were normal infants, ages 5 weeks to 12 months; 3 were children with iron overload; 7 had iron deficiency anemia; and 6 had thalassemia trait. There were in all 17 boys and 31 girls. The distribution of 15 minerals in hair, serum, and urine samples was determined by energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence. Mineral concentrations from the normal children were compared with concentrations obtained from the children with iron overload, iron deficiency anemia, and thalassemia trait. Statistical analysis revealed no significant differences among any of the groups. Mineral concentrations from the normal infants and children may be useful as reference values. The analysis of hair iron as a valid screening test for body iron status in children is not supported by our data.

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