evidence-based blog of Filippo Dibari

Prevalence of wasting among under 6-month-old infants in developing countries and implications of new case definitions using WHO growth standards: a secondary data analysis

In Under-nutrition on April 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Marko Kerac, Hannah Blencowe, Carlos Grijalva-Eternod, Marie McGrath, Jeremy Shoham, Tim J Cole, Andrew Seal

Arch Dis Child doi:10.1136/adc.2010.191882

“Objectives To determine wasting prevalence among infants aged under 6 months and describe the effects of new case definitions based on WHO growth standards. Design Secondary data analysis of demographic and health survey datasets. Setting 21 developing countries. Population 15 534 infants under 6 months and 147 694 children aged 6 to under 60 months (median 5072 individuals/country, range 1710–45 398). Wasting was defined as weight-for-height z-score <−2, moderate wasting as −3 to <−2 z-scores, severe wasting as z-score <−3. Results Using National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) growth references, the nationwide prevalence of wasting in infant under-6-month ranges from 1.1% to 15% (median 3.7%, IQR 1.8–6.5%; ∼3 million wasted infants <6 months worldwide). Prevalence is more than doubled using WHO standards: 2.0–34% (median 15%, IQR 6.2–17%; ∼8.5 million wasted infants <6 months worldwide). Prevalence differences using WHO standards are more marked for infants under 6 months than children, with the greatest increase being for severe wasting (indicated by a regression line slope of 3.5 for infants <6 months vs 1.7 for children). Moderate infant-6-month wasting is also greater using WHO, whereas moderate child wasting is 0.9 times the NCHS prevalence. Conclusions Whether defined by NCHS references or WHO standards, wasting among infants under 6 months is prevalent in many of the developing countries examined in this study. Use of WHO standards to define wasting results in a greater disease burden, particularly for severe wasting. Policy makers, programme managers and clinicians in child health and nutrition programmes should consider resource and risk/benefit implications of changing case definitions.”

http://adc.bmj.com/content/early/2011/02/01/adc.2010.191882.full

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: