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BACKGROUND: Health and disease can only be distinguished by accurate and reliable reference values of a particular laboratory test. In interpreting laboratory test results, usually the reported values are compared with established reference values from developed countries. Now it is a fact that there is considerable variation in hematology reference intervals by several variables. However, such data at a population level are scanty in the Ethiopian situation. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the hematological and immunological values in a community setting.
METHODS: A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted in Gilgel Gibe Field Research Center (GGFRC) from late September 2008 to end of January 2009. A tsample of 1,965 individuals was included in the study. Blood sample was collected by vacutainer tube and transported to Jimma University Specialized Hospital laboratory. Data were entered in to EpiData and analyzed using SPSS for Windows version 16.0 and STATA 11.
RESULTS: A total of 1965 (955 men and 1010 women) individuals were studied. The mean red blood cell count for men and women was 4.55 x 10 12 /L and 4.34 x 10 12 /L (95 percentile range between 2.9 and 5.7 10 12 /L) and 4.34 10 12 /L (95 percentile range between 2.8 and 5.2 10 12 /L), respectively. On the other hand, the red blood cell count of 95% of the men and women lied between 2.9-5.7 X 10 12 cells/L and 2.8- 5.2 X 10 12 cells /L, respectively. The mean hemoglobin value for men was 13.6 gm/dl and for women 12.7 gm/dl. The mean corpuscular volume for men and women was 90.2 fl and 90.8 fl, respectively. The mean platelet value for men was 229.1 x10 9 cells/L and for women 241.3 x10 9 cells/L. The mean white blood cells count for men and women was 6.08 x10 9 cells/L and 6.12 x10 9 cells/L, respectively. The mean CD4 value was 809 cell/μl for men and 868 cell /μl for women. Forty two percent of the study participants had O blood group.
CONCLUSION: the hematologic and immunologic profile of the studied population in Southwest Ethiopia is different from the reports from other countries and the standards described in western literature. We recommend conducting similar nationwide study to determine the immunological and hematological reference values of the Ethiopian population as a whole.