Megaloblastic Anaemia In Zimbabwe. 1: Seasonal Variation.
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Two hundred and ten patients who were confirmed to have megaloblastic anemia over a 2-year period were grouped according to the month of diagnosis. A distinct seasonal variation was detectable in the occurrence of megaloblastic anemia with a high prevalence in the wet season and a low prevalence in the dry season. The major factor postulated to be responsible for the seasonal fluctuations of the disorder is the concomitant diminution in the availability of folate-rich green vegetables; and not malaria transmission. As the dry season sets in and progresses, the frequency of megaloblastic anaemia cases increases reaching a peak during the wet season. It is suggested that an adequate supply of green vegetables like lettuce, spinach and cabbage throughout the year might lessen or even eliminate the seasonal variation of megaloblastic anaemia presently observed in this community.