evidence-based blog of Filippo Dibari

Children successfully treated for moderate acute malnutrition remain at risk for malnutrition and death in the subsequent year after recovery

In Under-nutrition on February 27, 2013 at 7:50 pm

J Nutr. 2013 Feb;143(2):215-20. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.168047. Epub 2012 Dec 19.

by Chang CYTrehan IWang RJThakwalakwa CMaleta KDeitchler MManary MJ.

Abstract

Moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) affects 11% of children <5 y old worldwide and increases their risk for morbidity and mortality. It is assumed that successful treatment of MAM reduces these risks.

A total of 1967 children aged 6-59 mo successfully treated for MAM in rural Malawi following randomized treatment with corn-soy blend plus milk  and oil (CSB++), soy ready-to-use supplementary food (RUSF), or soy/whey RUSF were followed for 12 mo. The initial supplementary food was given until the child reached a weight-for-height Z-score (WHZ) >-2. The median duration of feeding was 2 wk, with a maximum of 12 wk.

The hypothesis tested was that children treated with either RUSF would be more likely to remain well-nourished than those treated with CSB++.The primary outcome, remaining well-nourished, was defined as mid-upper arm circumference ≥12.5 cm or WHZ ≥-2 for the entire duration of follow-up.

During the 12-mo follow-up period, only 1230 (63%) children remained well-nourished, 334 (17%) relapsed to MAM, 190 (10%) developed severe acute malnutrition, 74 (4%) died, and 139 (7%) were lost to follow-up.

Children who were treated with soy/whey RUSF were more likely to remain well-nourished (67%) than those treated with CSB++ (62%) or soy RUSF (59%) (P = 0.01).

A seasonal pattern of food insecurity and adverse clinical outcomes was observed. This study demonstrates that children successfully treated for MAM with soy/whey RUSF are more likely to remain well-nourished; however, all children successfully treated for MAM remain vulnerable.

 

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