groups » Laboratories discussion group » Population-specific Reference Values?

What are your views in the topic of population-specific reference values?

Do you agree with the notion that reference values derived from local or regional populations are required to correctly interpret laboratory results?

Do you think that the lack of use of locally-derived reference ranges result in many healthy people being classified as having out-of-range blood results?

Does your group or clinical laboratory use reference ranges developed in site or specifically for the local population? Or, do you use the values supplied in the test manufacturer's kit insert or some other published values derived from populations in the United States or Western Europe?

What about pediatric reference ranges? Does your group or clinical laboratory have their own reference values for specific groups such as kids and pregnant women?


  • karla Karla Lam 10 Jun 2014

    If you want to read a bit more about reference values and/or the papers recently published in Plos One from research groups in Nigeria, Mozambique and Botswana working to establish haematology and clinical chemistry reference ranges for their local healthy adult populations, follow this link:

  • karla Karla Lam 10 Jun 2014

    Hi Innocent,

    Thank you very much for your post. It is really good to hear that other research groups around Africa are also carrying studies to determine population-specific reference values in their regions. It is also really interesting to hear that normal haematological values are significantly different between distinct geo-ecological regions within the same country. One more argument to support the notion that all clinical laboratories should try and establish the reference values that are true for the populations they deal with.
    Best of luck with your proposal! We hope it will go through!

  • dralinn ALI Innocent 9 Jun 2014

    Hi Karla
    You have captured my intentions in writing about references ranges. I will just mention that we carried out a clinical trial in Cameroon in two different geo-ecological regions and realised we cannot compare certain parameters between populations such as haemoglobin recovery rates. Normal babies in one of the sites were smaller compared to babies in the other site and had lower normal values of haemoglobin. We are now considering a proposal to expand the determination of reference ranges in a number of populations in Cameroon.

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