Age and race distribution of patients who undergo haematological investigations at Tygerberg Hospital (Afrikaans)

Brink S. ; Van Schalkwyk D.J. ; Steytler J.G. (1977-11)

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The race, age and sex of patients referred for peripheral blood investigations at the Tygerberg Hospital were analysed statistically. An IBM 370/158 computer was used. Two groups were compared. The first was a 'low Hb group' of 2065 patients who had at least once during the first 6 months of 1976 had a haemoglobin (Hb) value of 10 g/dl or lower. The second, a 'hospital group' of 600 patients, was selected with the aid of tables for generating random numbers and was representative of the general hospital population. Rank order correlation methods using the ratios between the observed and the population percentages (based on the census figures for the Cape Peninsula) for the different age groups, between the race-age combinations, were used, and significant differences were found. In the hospital group the higher percentage of women between 20 and 39 years and the higher percentage of men older than 60 years was striking. In the low Hb group 38.8% of the patients were below 4 years of age, and 61% in the microcytic group (mean corpuscular volume (MCV) below 75 fl) were under the age of 6 years. The largest number of cases of iron-deficient anaemias in the hospital was therefore found in children. The MCV and Hb values had a fairly normal distribution, but in the macrocytic subdivision (MCV higher than 95 fl) of the low Hb group, White men were significantly over-represented. In the hospital group Hb and MCV values were slightly lower than the values accepted in a normal population, the mean MCV of women being lower than that of men (P < 0.01), and the values of non-Whites being lower than those of Whites.

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