Journal Article

Assessing Potential Risk Factors for Child Malnutrition in Rural Kerala, India

Uma Sanghvi, K.R. Thankappan, P. Sankara Sarma and Najeeb Sali

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 47, issue 6, pages 350-355
Published in print December 2001 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online December 2001 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI:
Assessing Potential Risk Factors for Child Malnutrition in Rural Kerala, India

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Studies indicate that 42–57 per cent of all child deaths in developing countries are due to the potentiating effects of malnutrition on infectious disease, of which over three‐quarters can be attributed to mild‐to‐moderate malnutrition.1 Risk factors for underweight status in children under 3 years of age were assessed in Kerala, India. Mothers of 34 children weighing below –1 SD for their age and 59 children weighing more than 1 SD for their age, were interviewed for information about maternal health, child feeding patterns, and sibling gender and age data. Statistical analysis showed that current maternal weight (odds ratio = 8.25, p = 0.0009), current maternal body mass index (OR = 4.55, p = 0.03), infant birth weight (OR = 4.87, p = 0.01) and excessive maternal vomiting in pregnancy (OR = 4.48, p = 0.04) were significant risk factors for current child underweight status. Based on this observed relationship of maternal nutritional factors with child weight‐for‐age status, further studies on interventions to address the health problems of adolescent girls and all women of reproductive age in Kerala are suggested, in addition to continuing the emphasis in current rural health and nutrition programs for pregnant and lactating mothers.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Paediatrics

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