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AIM: The aim of the study was to determine how values for white blood cell (WBC) counts, hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (Hct), mean corpuscular volume (mcv), and platelet counts vary with age and sex in healthy Malawians. METHODS: We recruited 660 (316 male and 344 female) participants in 12 different age groups. An ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid-anticoagulated blood sample collected from each participant was analyzed using a hematological analyzer. RESULTS: WBC counts decreased with age with the lowest counts observed in the 20 to <60 years old group. Median WBC counts for 20 to <60 year old females (5.9×109/L) were significantly higher than those for men (4.7×109/L; p=0.015) of the same age. Hb and Hct increased between 5 and 10 years in males and 10 and 15 years in females to adult levels. Males aged 5 to <10 years had significantly higher Hb (13.05 g/dL) and Hct (42.50%) compared to females of the same age (10.40 g/dL and 32.55%, respectively; p<0.0001 for both parameters). Platelet counts in males, which were highest between 3 and 5 years (376×109/L), decreased to lowest counts among 5 to <10 year olds (238×109/L), while in females these decreased from 402×109/L in 6 to <10 years olds to 226×109/L in 10 to <15 year olds. mcv median values were high in neonates reaching a nadir at 13-18 months and then increased throughout life. Females aged 0 to <6 months had significantly higher mcv values (81.85 fL) than males of the same age (69.3 fL; p<0.0001). CONCLUSION: This study provides hematological values according to age and sex that are suitable for reference use in studies among Malawian subjects.

Original publication




Journal article


J Blood Med

Publication Date





123 - 130


age, healthy Malawians, hematological values, sex