evidence-based blog of Filippo Dibari

Posts Tagged ‘linear growth’

Child growth monitor app: a game-changer?

In Over-nutrition, Under-nutrition on May 9, 2018 at 12:52 am

from Welt Hunger Hilfe webpage

Associations of Suboptimal Growth with All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality in Children under Five Years: A Pooled Analysis of Ten Prospective Studies

In Under-nutrition on June 3, 2016 at 3:38 pm

Olofin I, McDonald CM, Ezzati M, Flaxman S, Black RE, et al. (2013) Associations of Suboptimal Growth with All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality in Children under Five Years: A Pooled Analysis of Ten Prospective Studies. PLoS ONE 8(5): e64636.





Child undernutrition affects millions of children globally. We investigated associations between suboptimal growth and mortality by pooling large studies.


Pooled analysis involving children 1 week to 59 months old in 10 prospective studies in Africa, Asia and South America. Utilizing most recent measurements, we calculated weight-for-age, height/length-for-age and weight-for-height/length Z scores, applying 2006 WHO Standards and the 1977 NCHS/WHO Reference. We estimated all-cause and cause-specific mortality hazard ratios (HR) using proportional hazards models comparing children with mild (−2≤Z<−1), moderate (−3≤Z<−2), or severe (Z<−3) anthropometric deficits with the reference category (Z≥−1).


53 809 children were eligible for this re-analysis and contributed a total of 55 359 person-years, during which 1315 deaths were observed. All degrees of underweight, stunting and wasting were associated with significantly higher mortality. The strength of association increased monotonically as Z scores decreased. Pooled mortality HR was 1.52 (95% Confidence Interval 1.28, 1.81) for mild underweight; 2.63 (2.20, 3.14) for moderate underweight; and 9.40 (8.02, 11.03) for severe underweight. Wasting was a stronger determinant of mortality than stunting or underweight. Mortality HR for severe wasting was 11.63 (9.84, 13.76) compared with 5.48 (4.62, 6.50) for severe stunting. Using older NCHS standards resulted in larger HRs compared with WHO standards. In cause-specific analyses, all degrees of anthropometric deficits increased the hazards of dying from respiratory tract infections and diarrheal diseases. The study had insufficient power to precisely estimate effects of undernutrition on malaria mortality.


All degrees of anthropometric deficits are associated with increased risk of under-five mortality using the 2006 WHO Standards. Even mild deficits substantially increase mortality, especially from infectious diseases.

WHO: Promoting Healthy Growth and Preventing Childhood Stunting

In Under-nutrition on October 6, 2013 at 6:03 pm

from the WHO website:


As part of the work on implementing the project “Promoting healthy growth and preventing childhood stunting”, the World Health Organization has worked with various experts to prepare nine papers for a supplement of the Maternal and Child Nutrition Journal. The papers will contribute to ongoing reflections on multiple aspects of the challenges presented by a World Health Assembly 2012 target for stunting reduction and ways to address them.

You can download the chapters (free) from the Maternal and Child Nutrition web site. September 2013. Volume 9, Issue Supplement S2. Pages 1–149

Revisiting the relationship of weight and height in early childhood

In Under-nutrition on April 25, 2012 at 6:22 am

SA Richard, RE Black, and W Checkley
Adv Nutr, January 1, 2012; 3(2): 250-4

“Ponderal and linear growth of children has been widely studied; however, epidemiologic evidence of a relationship between the two is inconsistent. Child undernutrition in the form of low height for age and low weight for height continues to burden the developing world. A downward shift in the distribution of height for age in the first 2 y of life is commonly observed in many developing countries and is usually summarized as the percentage stunted (height for age Z-score <-2). Similar shifts are seen in weight for height; however, weight-for-height shifts are often less extreme, perhaps because weight for height is more tightly biologically controlled. Low height for age and low weight for height in childhood share some common factors, including food insecurity, infectious diseases, and inappropriate feeding practices. Reductions in weight for height, generally seen as a short-term response to inadequate dietary intake or utilization, are thought to precede decreases in height for age; however, given an adequate diet and no further insults, catch-up linear growth can occur. Serial instances of decreased weight for height, however, are thought to limit the degree of catch-up growth attained, contributing to linear growth retardation. Additional research is needed to identify the factors associated with recovery of linear growth after a child experiences decreased weight for height. Although the direct relationship between weight for height and height for age is likely limited, each of these measurements indicates important information about the general health of children and their risk of the development of illness or dying; therefore, eliminating the downward shift of height for age and weight for height in developing countries should be prioritized as a public policy.”


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