Prevalence of Subclinical Mastitis in Ghanaian Women Based on Elevated Sodium:Potassium Ratio

  • Richmond Aryeetey (Iowa State University)
  • Grace S. Marquis (Iowa State University)
  • Leo L. Timms (Iowa State University)
  • A. Lartley (University of Ghana)
  • L. Brakohiapa (Noguchi Institute)


Human subclinical mastitis (SCM) is inflammation of mammary tissue without any overt manifestations but is associated with lactation failure, sub-optimal infant growth during the early postpartum period, and increased risk of mother-to-child-transmission of HIV via breast milk. We carried out a rapid survey to determine the prevalence of SCM among lactating Ghanaian women between 3 and 4 months postpartum. Bilateral breast milk samples were obtained from 117 lactating women in Manya Krobo, Ghana and analyzed for sodium (Na) and potassium (K). Additionally we measured maternal mid-upper arm circumference and recorded recent maternal health history. Elevated sodium-potassium ratio above 1.0 was considered indicative of SCM. Overall SCM prevalence among these women was 45.3% of which 29.9% was unilateral. There were no associations between Na/K and maternal health perception, and nutritional status. The high SCM prevalence suggests the need for immediate intervention to reduce SCM and other related maternal and child outcomes.

Keywords: ASL R2204

How to Cite:

Aryeetey, R., Marquis, G. S., Timms, L. L., Lartley, A. & Brakohiapa, L., (2007) “Prevalence of Subclinical Mastitis in Ghanaian Women Based on Elevated Sodium:Potassium Ratio”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 4(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/ans_air-180814-727

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Published on
01 Jan 2007
Peer Reviewed