3 years ago

Clinical chemistry reference intervals of healthy adult populations in Gojjam Zones of Amhara National Regional State, Northwest Ethiopia

Yakob Gebregziabher, Wondemagegn Mulu, Mulat Yimer, Asmare Amuamuta, Yohannes Zenebe, Zewdie Mekonnen, Wondemu Gebeyehu, Bayeh Abera, Yesuf Adem

by Zewdie Mekonnen, Asmare Amuamuta, Wondemagegn Mulu, Mulat Yimer, Yohannes Zenebe, Yesuf Adem, Bayeh Abera, Wondemu Gebeyehu, Yakob Gebregziabher


Reference interval is crucial for disease screening, diagnosis, monitoring, progression and treatment efficacy. Due to lack of locally derived reference values for the parameters, clinicians use reference intervals derived from western population. But, studies conducted in different African countries have indicated differences between locally and western derived reference values. Different studies also indicated considerable variation in clinical chemistry reference intervals by several variables such as age, sex, geographical location, environment, lifestyle and genetic variation.


This study aimed to determine the reference intervals of common clinical chemistry parameters of the community of Gojjam Zones, Northwest Ethiopia.


Population based cross-sectional study was conducted from November 2015 to December 2016 in healthy adult populations of Gojjam zone. Data such as, medical history, physical examination and socio-demographic data were collected. In addition, laboratory investigations were undertaken to screen the population. Clinical chemistry parameters were measured using Mindray BS 200 clinical chemistry autoanalyzer as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Descriptive statistics was used to calculate mean, median and 95th percentiles. Independent sample T-test and one way ANOVA were used to see association between variables.


After careful screening of a total of 799 apparently healthy adults who were consented for this study, complete data from 446 (224 females and 222 males) were included for the analysis. The mean age of both the study participants was 28.8 years. Males had high (P<0.05) mean and 2.5th-97.5th percentile ranges of ALT, AST, ALP, creatinine and direct bilirubin. The reference intervals of amylase, LDH, total protein and total bilirubin were not significantly different between the two sex groups (P>0.05). Mean, median, 95% percentile values of AST, ALP, amylase, LDH, creatinine, total protein, total bilirubin, and direct bilirubin across all age groups of participants were similar (P>0.05). But, there was a significant difference in the value of ALT (P<0.05). The reference intervals of ALT, total protein and creatinine were significantly (P<0.05) high in people having monthly income >1500 ETB compared to those with low monthly income. Significant (P<0.05) higher values of the ALT, ALP and total protein were observed in people living in high land compared to low land residences.


The study showed that some of the common clinical chemistry parameters reference intervals of healthy adults in Gojjam zones were higher than the reference intervals generated from developed countries. Therefore, strict adherence to the reference values generated in developed countries could lead to inappropriate diagnosis and treatment of patients. There was also variation of reference interval values based on climate, gender, age, monthly income and geographical locations. Therefore, further study is required to establish reference intervals for Ethiopian population.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184665

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