Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency in Nigerian Children

Olatundun Williams, Daniel Gbadero, Grace Edowhorhu, Ann Brearley, Tina Slusher, Troy C. Lund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is the most common human enzymopathy and in Sub-Saharan Africa, is a significant cause of infection- and drug-induced hemolysis and neonatal jaundice. Our goals were to determine the prevalence of G6PD deficiency among Nigerian children of different ethnic backgrounds and to identify predictors of G6PD deficiency by analyzing vital signs and hematocrit and by asking screening questions about symptoms of hemolysis. We studied 1,122 children (561 males and 561 females) aged 1 month to 15 years. The mean age was 7.4±3.2 years. Children of Yoruba ethnicity made up the largest group (77.5%) followed by those Igbo descent (10.6%) and those of Igede (10.2%) and Tiv (1.8%) ethnicity. G6PD status was determined using the fluorescent spot method. We found that the overall prevalence of G6PD deficiency was 15.3% (24.1% in males, 6.6% in females). Yoruba children had a higher prevalence (16.9%) than Igede (10.5%), Igbo (10.1%) and Tiv (5.0%) children. The odds of G6PD deficiency were 0.38 times as high in Igbo children compared to Yoruba children (p = 0.0500). The odds for Igede and Tiv children were not significantly different from Yoruba children (p = 0.7528 and 0.9789 respectively). Mean oxygen saturation, heart rate and hematocrit were not significantly different in G6PD deficient and G6PD sufficient children. The odds of being G6PD deficient were 2.1 times higher in children with scleral icterus than those without (p = 0.0351). In conclusion, we determined the prevalence of G6PD deficiency in Nigerian sub-populations. The odds of G6PD deficiency were decreased in Igbo children compared to Yoruba children. There was no association between vital parameters or hematocrit and G6PD deficiency. We found that a history of scleral icterus may increase the odds of G6PD deficiency, but we did not exclude other common causes of icterus such as sickle cell disease or malarial infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere68800
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 12 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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