Our objective was to determine whether glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency and elevated carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) levels correlated with bilirubin-related morbidity and mortality rates. For this purpose, we studied 55 clinically jaundiced infants admitted to a rural mission hospital in southern Nigeria. Total serum bilirubin levels (range, 80 to 1016 μmol/L [4.7 to 59.4 mg/dl]) correlated with the percentage COHb concentrations (COHb = 0.45 + 0.08* Total serum bilirubin; r = 0.72). Infants were divided into two groups of equal size around the median COHb concentration (COHb range, 0.43% to 5.93% [median = 1.40%], with ambient carbon monoxide of 0.65 ± 0.03 μL/L). The COHb levels > 1.40% were associated with the need for exchange transfusion (15/28, or 54%, vs 5/27, or 19%; p < 0.01) and with an increased incidence of clinical findings compatible with kernicterus (9/28, or 32%, vs 0/27, or 0%; p < 0.01). Mortality rate was 29% (8/29) among infants with higher COHb levels, and 7% (2/28) in those with lower levels (p = 0.08). Thirty-one percent (14/45) of the clinically jaundiced infants tested had G6PD deficiency. Thirty-six percent of the infants with G6PD deficiency died with presumed kernicterus, compared with only 3% (1/31) of the infants with a normal G6PD screening test result (p < 0.01). These data suggest that G6PD deficiency and increased bilirubin production, as indexed by COHb, are associated with jaundice-related morbidity and death in Nigerian infants. (J PEDIATR 1995;126:102-8).