Comparative study of MCV between lacto-vegetarian and non-vegetarian population of Tharparkar village

  • Suresh Kumar JSMU
  • Asma Sheikh, Dr JSMU
  • Zareen Irshad, Dr JSMU
  • Vinita Kumari, Dr JSMU
  • Salma Parween, Dr JSMU
  • Shahida Kashif, Dr Liaquat College of Medicine and Dentistry
Keywords: Anaemia, MCV, Lactovegetarian, macrocytic


Anemia is one of the most common micronutrient deficiencies in our community. Mean corpuscular volume is the average volume of red cells and largely depend upon these micronutrients like B12, folic acid and iron present in diet. Deficiency of these micronutrient affects MCV and can cause anemia. This study aimed to compare the MCV of lacto-vegetarian and non-vegetarian adult living in Tharparkar-Sindh village.

Study Design: Case control analytical descriptive study

Methods: One hundred apparently healthy strict lacto-vegetarian and non-vegetarians subjects were selected from the same village of Tharparkar. After written consent and preliminary physical examination, blood samples were collected under sterilized condition in two tube one containing EDTA for CBC and second for serum for B12 and folate. Peripheral smear was made at the research field site and fixed with 70% methanol to maintain cellular morphology. Samples were analyzed for complete blood count, serum B12 and folate.

 Results: The mean age in vegetarian group was 30.5 years (±8.36) and 30.13(±9.22) in non-vegetarian group. Male to female ratio was 3.4:1. On direct questioning 54 in vegetarian and 24 in non-vegetarian agreed to have fatigue and lethargy. Most of the subject in both groups relied on wheat, pulses, vegetable and milk product as staple food whereas non-vegetarian often consumed egg and meat as well. In vegetarian group 83% and in non-vegetarian 66% subjects were B12 deficient, while 7%in vegetarian and 23 %in non-vegetarian had low folate level. 9 people in vegetarian 22 peoples in non-vegetarian were found anemic. 20 subjects in vegetarian and 04 in non-vegetarian were found with definite high MCV i.e. more than100.

CONCLUSION: Majority of the vegetarians and more than half of non-vegetarian had vitamin B12 deficiency while folate levels were normal in most of the subject of both groups. MCV is poor indicator of severity of B12 and folate deficiency Anemia, and normal MCV does not exclude B12 or folate deficiency. Clinician need to be aware of the low sensitivity of the MCV while screening.

How to Cite
Kumar, S., Sheikh, A., Irshad, Z., Kumari, V., Parween, S., & Kashif, S. (2019). Comparative study of MCV between lacto-vegetarian and non-vegetarian population of Tharparkar village. Annals of Jinnah Sindh Medical University, 5(1), 21-25. Retrieved from

Most read articles by the same author(s)