Assessment of the relationship between some trace elements and antioxidant enzymes was carried out on 98 under-five children with protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) and 98 age- and sex-matched apparently healthy children (control). The malnourished children involve those with Marasmus, Kwashiorkor and Marasmic-kwashiorkor. Venous blood (2ml) was collected from both PEM children and control for biochemical analysis using standard methods. Results obtained show that mean serum total protein (55.76±3.95) and albumin (26.43±2.78) levels and superoxide dismutase (SOD) (1.87±0.32) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) (42.38±5.03) activities in malnourished children were significantly lower.
1.1 Background of the Study
Severe malnutrition is common among developing countries both in rural and urban areas (Psaki et al., 2012).It is responsible for at least half of the 7.6 million child‟sdeaths each year indeveloping countries (Park et al., 2012). Children who are poorly nourished suffer up to 160 days of illness each year (UNICEF, 2008). Malnutrition magnifies the effects of every disease, including measles and malaria. The estimated proportions of deaths in which malnutrition is an underlying cause are diarrhoea (61%), malaria (57%), pneumonia (52%) and measles (45%) (Black et al., 2003). Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) is one of the most prevalent and devastating forms of malnutrition in the world (Whitney and Rolfes, 2008).