evidence-based blog of Filippo Dibari

Posts Tagged ‘malaria’

Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplements Do Not Affect the Risk of Malaria or Respiratory Morbidity in 6- to 18-Month-Old Malawian Children in a Randomized Controlled Trial

In Under-nutrition on September 28, 2014 at 7:03 am

by Charles Mangani, Per Ashorn, Kenneth Maleta, John Phuka,Chrissie Thakwalakwa,Kathryn Dewey, Mark Manary, Taneli Puumalainen, and Yin Bun Cheung

from J. Nutr. November 1, 2014



Background: There is evidence to support the use of lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNSs) to promote child growth and development in low-income countries, but there is also a concern regarding the safety of using iron-fortified products in malaria-endemic areas.

Objective: The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that 6- to 18-mo-old rural Malawian children receiving iron-containing (6 mg/d) LNSs would not have excess morbidity compared with infants receiving no supplementation.

Methods: A randomized controlled trial allocated 840 children to receive daily supplementation with 54 g/d LNS with milk protein base (milk-LNS), 54 g/d LNS with soy protein base (soy-LNS), 71 g/d corn-soy blend (CSB), or no supplementation from 6 to 18 mo of age. Morbidity was compared using a non-inferiority margin set at 20% excess morbidity in supplemented groups compared with the nonsupplemented group.

Results: Baseline characteristics were similar across groups. The proportion of days with febrile illness between 6 and 18 mo was 4.9%, and there were no differences between the groups: 4.9% (95% CI: 4.3, 5.5%), 4.5% (95% CI: 3.9, 5.1%), 4.7% (95% CI: 4.1, 5.3%), and 5.5% (95% CI: 4.7–6.3%) in the milk-LNS, soy-LNS, CSB, and control groups, respectively. The proportion of days with respiratory problems and diarrhea between 6 and 18 mo also did not differ between groups. Compared with controls, the incident rate ratio (95% CI) for clinical malaria was 0.80 (0.59, 1.09), 0.77 (0.56, 1.06), and 0.79 (0.58, 1.08) in milk-LNS, soy-LNS, and CSB, respectively, with 95% CIs confirming non-inferiority. The incidence of febrile episodes, diarrhea, respiratory problems or admission to hospital, prevalence of malaria parasitemia throughout the follow-up, and mean change in hemoglobin concentration from baseline were also similar between the groups.

Conclusions: Daily supplementation with 54 g of milk-based or soy protein–based LNS or 71 g of CSB did not result in increases in malaria or respiratory morbidity in children in a malaria-endemic setting. However, we could not conclude whether LNSs did or did not increase diarrheal morbidity. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00524446.

– – –
NB – To follow up this topic (or others), enter your email in the rectangle at the bottom/right side of this page (you can un-subscribe any time).

Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food for Catch-Up Growth in Children after an Episode of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria: An Open Randomised Controlled Trial

In Under-nutrition on May 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm

van der Kam S, Swarthout T, Niragira O, Froud A, Sompwe EM, Mills C, Roll S, Tinnemann P, Shanks L.

PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e35006. Epub 2012 Apr 25.

Source: Médecins Sans Frontières, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Free full text


BACKGROUND: Catch-up growth after an infection is essential for children to maintain good nutritional status. To prevent malnutrition, WHO recommends that children are given one additional healthy meal per day during the 2 weeks after onset of illness. We investigated to what extent ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) promotes catch-up growth in children after an acute, uncomplicated episode of Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

METHODS: We did an open randomised trial of children aged 6-59 months with confirmed malaria who attended a Médecins Sans Frontières-supported outpatient clinic in Katanga Province, Democratic Republic of Congo. All children received a clinical examination and malaria treatment. Patients were then randomly assigned to either an RUTF group, who received daily supplemental RUTF (a high-protein peanut-based paste) for 14 days, or to a control group, who received no supplemental food. Children were weighed at baseline and on days 14 and 28. The primary outcome was mean weight change after 14 days’ RUTF. Analysis was by intention-to-treat.

RESULTS: 93 children received RUTF and 87 received no food supplementation. At day 14, the RUTF group had a mean weight gain of 353 g compared with 189 g in the control group (difference 164 [95%CI 52-277], p = 0.005). However, at day 28 there was no statistically significant difference between the groups (539 g versus 414 g, respectively [p = 0.053]). Similarly, rate of weight gain per kg bodyweight per day was significantly higher at day 14 in the RUTF group (2.4 g/kg per day versus 1.3 g/kg per day, p = 0.005) but at day 28 was 1.9 g/kg per day in the RUTF group versus 1.5 g/kg per day in the control group (p = 0.076).

CONCLUSIONS: Children receiving RUTF for 14 days after effective treatment of an uncomplicated malaria episode had a faster weight gain than children not given supplementation, reducing the period that children were at risk of malnutrition.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00819858.

%d bloggers like this: