evidence-based blog of Filippo Dibari

Posts Tagged ‘kwashiorkor’

Context-specific choice of food aid items (USAID)

In Under-nutrition on August 12, 2012 at 10:22 am

(click directly on the flowchart for an enlarged view)

In a recent document (2011), USAID, in collaboration with the UN Global Nutrition Cluster, UNHCR WFP and other organizations, suggest which type of programme and food commodities are more adequate.

However, it was concluded that there is no one food product that can meet every kind of programming goal, and no one programming approach that fits all needs.

The same panel  developed decision trees and few flow charts to help policy makers and donors in taking more informed decisions about programmes and choice of food-products.

The original program guidance is available here, whereas another version of the same, visible above, was adjusted in one chapter of my PhD thesis.

Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial Evaluating the Need for Routine Antibiotics as Part of the Outpatient Management of Severe Acute Malnutrition

In Under-nutrition on August 11, 2012 at 11:23 am

by Mark J. Manary, Kenneth Maleta, Indi Trehan
Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance II Project (FANTA-2) Bridge, FHI
360, March 2012

(download the entire document)

The Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance (FANTA) Project undertook a clinical trial comparing nutritional recovery and mortality outcomes in children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) receiving 1 week of amoxicillin, cefdinir, or placebo, in addition to usual peanut-based ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) therapy. This report documents the outcomes of the trial, which clearly showed the benefit of using antibiotics in the outpatient treatment of SAM without medical complications in a setting with high levels of kwashiorkor and HIV infection.

Prenatal factors contribute to the emergence of kwashiorkor or marasmus in severe undernutrition: evidence for the predictive adaptation model

In Under-nutrition on May 9, 2012 at 7:37 am

TE Forrester, AV Badaloo, MS Boyne, C Osmond, D Thompson, C Green, C Taylor-Bryan, A Barnett, S Soares-Wynter, MA Hanson, AS Beedle, and PD Gluckman

PLoS One, January 1, 2012; 7(4): e35907


“BACKGROUND: Severe acute malnutrition in childhood manifests as oedematous (kwashiorkor, marasmic kwashiorkor) and non-oedematous (marasmus) syndromes with very different prognoses. Kwashiorkor differs from marasmus in the patterns of protein, amino acid and lipid metabolism when patients are acutely ill as well as after rehabilitation to ideal weight for height. Metabolic patterns among marasmic patients define them as metabolically thrifty, while kwashiorkor patients function as metabolically profligate. Such differences might underlie syndromic presentation and prognosis. However, no fundamental explanation exists for these differences in metabolism, nor clinical pictures, given similar exposures to undernutrition. We hypothesized that different developmental trajectories underlie these clinical-metabolic phenotypes: if so this would be strong evidence in support of predictive adaptation model of developmental plasticity.

“METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We reviewed the records of all children admitted with severe acute malnutrition to the Tropical Metabolism Research Unit Ward of the University Hospital of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica during 1962-1992. We used Wellcome criteria to establish the diagnoses of kwashiorkor (n?=?391), marasmus (n?=?383), and marasmic-kwashiorkor (n?=?375). We recorded participants’ birth weights, as determined from maternal recall at the time of admission. Those who developed kwashiorkor had 333 g (95% confidence interval 217 to 449, p<0.001) higher mean birthweight than those who developed marasmus.

“CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These data are consistent with a model suggesting that plastic mechanisms operative in utero induce potential marasmics to develop with a metabolic physiology more able to adapt to postnatal undernutrition than those of higher birthweight. Given the different mortality risks of these different syndromes, this observation is supportive of the predictive adaptive response hypothesis and is the first empirical demonstration of the advantageous effects of such a response in humans. The study has implications for understanding pathways to obesity and its cardio-metabolic co-morbidities in poor countries and for famine intervention programs.”


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