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Malaria and nutritional status among pre-school children: Results from cross-sectional surveys in western Kenya

Friedman, J. F., Kwena, A. M., Mrel, L. B., Kariuki, S. K., Terlouw, Anja ORCID:, Phillips-Howard, P. A., Hawley, W. A., Nahlen, B. L., Shi, Y. P. and terKuile, Feiko ORCID: (2005) 'Malaria and nutritional status among pre-school children: Results from cross-sectional surveys in western Kenya'. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Vol 73, Issue 4, pp. 698-704.

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Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) affects millions of children in the developing world. The relationship between malaria and PEM is controversial. The goal of this study was to evaluate whether undernutrition is associated with increased or decreased malaria attributable morbidity. Three cross-sectional surveys were conducted using insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) among children aged 0-36 months living in an area with intense malaria transmission. Data were collected on nutritional status, recent history of clinical illness, socioeconomic status, current malaria infection status, and hemoglobin. In multivariate models, stunted children had more malaria parasitemia (odds ratio [OR] 1.98, P < 0.0001), high-density parasitemia (OR 1.84; P < 0.0001), clinical malaria (OR 1.77; P < 0.06), and severe malarial anemia (OR 2.65; P < 0.0001) than nonstunted children. The association was evident in children with mild-to-moderate (-3 < height-for-age Z-score [HAZ] < -2) and severe stunting (HAZ < -3). The cross-sectional nature of the study limits the interpretation of causality, but the data provide further observational support that the presence of undernutrition, in particular chronic undernutrition, places children at higher, not lower risk of malaria-related morbidity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: treated bed nets plasmodium-falciparum malaria protein-energy malnutrition family characteristics african children morbidity mortality growth area transmission
Subjects: WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 755 Epidemiology
WD Disorders of Systemic, Metabolic or Environmental Origin, etc > Nutrition Disorders > WD 100 General works
WS Pediatrics > Child Care. Nutrition. Physical Examination > WS 120 In infancy
WS Pediatrics > By Age Groups > WS 430 Infancy
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Depositing User: Ms Julia Martin
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2011 09:44
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2019 13:10


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