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Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal

Print version ISSN 1020-3397


ABU NASER, A.A.; GHBN, N.  and  KHOUDARY, R.. Relation of nitrate contamination of groundwater with methaemoglobin level among infants in Gaza. East. Mediterr. health j. [online]. 2007, vol.13, n.5, pp. 994-1004. ISSN 1020-3397.

A descriptive, cross-sectional and analytical study was carried out in 3 areas of the Gaza Strip, Palestine, in 2002, to determine the factors associated with high methaemoglobin (Met-Hb) levels in infants and the relationship with nitrate concentration in drinking water wells. Drinking water sources were likely to be the main factor for high levels of Met-Hb. Out of 338 infants attending for vaccination, having supplemental feeding, use of boiled water and age 3-6 months were associated with high Met-Hb levels. The highest mean Met-Hb level was in Khan-Younis, where the highest mean nitrate concentration was recorded in drinking water. The results emphasize the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for infants < 6 months old, and the choice of a suitable source of water for these infants.

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