Low White Blood Cell Count: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Precautions

The decrease in the number of white blood cells than the normal level is called as low white blood cell count. Leukopenia is the medical term used for low white blood cell count. White blood cells as the components of blood circulate throughout the body and fight against infection, while provides immunity to the body. Children are more sufferers from this disorder than elder ones.

The white blood cells play a major role in providing resistance to the body. The main component of the immune system of the human body is white blood cells. When the white blood cells the resistance power of the body is reduced and the individual can’t fight against infection. The individual is prone to have recurrent infections that stay for a long time. AIDS patients have low white blood cell count and reduced lymphocytes and that is why they will have severe infections.

The inflammatory symptoms such as redness, swelling, pus formation, cough, fever, etc develop very poor or may these inflammatory reactions are absent in patients with low white blood cell count as there is no enough white blood cell count to fight against foreign bodies. So seek medical help for even small discomfort or infection.

Neutropenia is the term used to indicate a decreased number of neutrophils, the component of white blood cell, which leads to low white blood cell count.

The normal range of white blood cell count in the body is 7000 to 11000 cells per cubic mm of blood. The low white blood cell count of fewer than 5000 cells per Cm can be said as a low white blood cell count. The low white blood cell count may vary from medical institutions to institutions. A low white blood cell count in children is not similar to elders and different according to age group. Leukopenia is also called a low white blood count.

The white blood cells have different component cells which also determines the low white blood cell count. The decrease in any one of the component cells also leads to low white blood cell count. The laboratory test determines the number of cells in the given blood sample.

Prevalence of and risk factors for leukopenia in tuberculosis patients

Multivariate Logistic regression analysis of factors affecting prevalence of leukopenia in newly treated tuberculosis patients
VariableβWaldPOR (95% CI)a
   Female0.6512.49<0.0011.92 (1.34−2.76)
Age (years)
   36−550.524.680.031.67 (1.05−2.67)
   ≥560.240.840.361.27 (0.76−2.09)
Degree of education
   Below senior high school1.00
   Senior high school and above-0.495.520.020.61 (0.41−0.92)
BMI (kg/m2)
   24−27.9−0.763.920.0480.47 (0.22−0.99)
   ≥28−0.840.650.420.43 (0.06−3.34)
   Primary pulmonary tuberculosis1.00
   Disseminated tuberculosis− (0.17−4.39)
   Secondary pulmonary tuberculosis−1.014.520.030.37 (0.15−0.92)
   Pleural tuberculosis−0.511.060.300.60 (0.23−1.59)
   Other extrapulmonary tuberculosis−0.882.770.100.41 (0.15−1.17)

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