Prevalence of neutropenia in children by nationality

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Background: A high prevalence of neutropenia has been reported in several ethnic groups amongst whom many healthy individuals with low neutrophil counts undergo unnecessary investigations. This study aims to ascertain the prevalence of neutropenia (NP) in a large cohort of children from North African, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries residing in the United Arab Emirates. Methods: Neutrophil counts of 26,542 children (one day to six years of age) from 86 countries were analyzed. The subjects were enrolled in the Well-Child-Care program of Ambulatory Health Services of Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. NP was defined as a neutrophil count <1.5 × 10/L and severe NP <0.5 × 10/L. Results: The neutrophil counts reached a nadir in the fourth week of life and changed slightly from the age of six-months to six-years. The frequency of NP was (from West-to-East): North African Arabs 15.4 %, Green Crescent Arabs 9.8 %, Peninsular Arabs 10.9 %, Iranians 3.1 %, Afghanis 2.5 %, Pakistanis 5.6 %, Indians 10.2 %, and Filipinos 7.3 %. The frequency of severe NP in North African Arabs (Sudanese) was 2.8 %, Green Crescent and Peninsular Arabs ≤1 %, Indians 1.5 %, and Filipinos 1.8 %. In 12,703 Emirati children, the frequency of NP was 10.6 % similar to their adult counterparts. Conclusion: The prevalence of childhood NP varied considerably by geoethnicity. Measures to prevent the inappropriate investigations of healthy children with benign neutropenia are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15
JournalBMC Hematology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Ethnicity
  • Malaria hypothesis
  • Monocyte count
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology


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