PREVALENCE AND SEVERITY OF HYPOGLYCAEMIA AND LACTIC ACIDOSIS IN CHILDREN DIAGNOSED WITH Plasmodium falciparum MALARIA
The prevalence and severitay of hypoglycaemia and lactic acidosis in Nigerian children diagnosed with Plasmodium falciparum malaria were determined in 100 outpatient children aged 3-144 months (12 years). The children were grouped into 2 categories: 3-59 month old and 60-144 month old. The results obtained indicated that out of the 100 children recruited into this study, seventy-five (75%) were infected while twenty-five (25%) were uninfected with Plasmodium falciparum malaria. On the basis of age group, higher incidence of malaria was recorded in children under 5 years of age with prevalence rate of 85.3%, while those above 5 years had low prevalence rate of 14.7%. The mean blood glucose concentration of malaria-infected children below 5 years (3.80 ± 0.73 mmol/l) was lower than that of malaria-infected children above 5 years (4.21 ± 1.34 mmol/l); however, the difference was not significant (p>0.05). Comparatively, the mean glucose concentrations of the corresponding uninfected subjects were 4.10 ± 0.87 and 4.26 ± 0.51 mmol/l respectively. The mean blood lactate concentration of children below 5 years of age (2.59 ± 1.63 mmol/l ) was significantly (p<0.05) higher than those above 5 years (2.30 ± 1.75 mmol/l). The mean values for both groups were also above the normal range of 1.0 – 2.0 mmol/l while the mean haemoglobin concentration of malaria-infected children below 5 years (16.11 ± 2.24 g/dl) was slightly lower than that of malaria- infected children above 5 years (16.36 ± 2.64g/dl) though not significant (p> 0.05). The prevalence rates of 14.7% were recorded for both hypoglycaemia and lactic acidosis in malaria-infected subjects while 16.0% was recorded for anaemia. There was no significant correlation between blood lactate concentration and blood glucose concentration (r= 0.032, p=0.751) but there was significant positive correlation between haemoglobin level and glucose concentration (r=0.401, p=0.0001). The results suggest that the risk of hypoglycaemia, lactic acidosis and anaemia is higher in younger children, particularly among those below five years of age and also confirmed the knowledge that malaria is a major cause of hospital visits by children.