In order to determine the limits of physiological anemia in the African neonate, the hematological values of 402 healthy neonates were determined. It was observed that although the African neonate had much lower hematological values at birth when compared with their North American and European counterparts, the eventual nadir reached is approximately the same. The hematocrit, hemoglobin and red blood cell count of preterm infants on the first day of life were comparable to those of full-term and postterm infants. However, the preterm infants had a more precipitous drop in these values and, consequently, reached a nadir much lower than full-term and postterm infants. The nadir was reached between 6 and 8 weeks in each group. In all three groups, recovery was spontaneous and preceded by a rise in reticulocyte count. It is also significant that by 16 weeks of life, no significant difference exists between the values for preterm, full-term and postterm infants

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