evidence-based blog of Filippo Dibari

Posts Tagged ‘mortality’

Cost-effectiveness of community-based screening and treatment of moderate acute malnutrition in Mali

In Under-nutrition on May 6, 2019 at 3:20 pm

source: BMJ webpage

By Sheila Isanaka1, Dale A Barnhart2, Christine M McDonald3, Robert S Ackatia-Armah4, Roland Kupka5, Seydou Doumbia6, Kenneth H Brown4, Nicolas A Menzies7


Introduction Moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) causes substantial child morbidity and mortality, accounting for 4.4% of deaths and 6.0% of disability-adjusted life years (DALY) lost among children under 5 each year. There is growing consensus on the need to provide appropriate treatment of MAM, both to reduce associated morbidity and mortality and to halt its progression to severe acute malnutrition. We estimated health outcomes, costs and cost-effectiveness of four dietary supplements for MAM treatment in children 6–35 months of age in Mali.

Methods We conducted a cluster-randomised MAM treatment trial to describe nutritional outcomes of four dietary supplements for the management of MAM: ready-to-use supplementary foods (RUSF; PlumpySup); a specially formulated corn–soy blend (CSB) containing dehulled soybean flour, maize flour, dried skimmed milk, soy oil and a micronutrient pre-mix (CSB++; Super Cereal Plus); Misola, a locally produced, micronutrient-fortified, cereal–legume blend (MI); and locally milled flour (LMF), a mixture of millet, beans, oil and sugar, with a separate micronutrient powder. We used a decision tree model to estimate long-term outcomes and calculated incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) comparing the health and economic outcomes of each strategy.

Results Compared to no MAM treatment, MAM treatment with RUSF, CSB++, MI and LMF reduced the risk of death by 15.4%, 12.7%, 11.9% and 10.3%, respectively. The ICER was US$9821 per death averted (2015 USD) and US$347 per DALY averted for RUSF compared with no MAM treatment.

Conclusion MAM treatment with RUSF is cost-effective across a wide range of willingness-to-pay thresholds.

Affiliation of the authors:

  1. Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, California, USA
  4. Department of Nutrition and Program in International and Community Nutrition, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
  5. United Nations Children’s Fund, Nutrition Section, New York, NY, USA
  6. Faculty of Medicine and Odontostomatology, University of Sciences, Techniques and Technology of Bamako, Bamako, Mali
  7. Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  8. Correspondence toDr Sheila Isanaka; sisanaka@hsph.harvard.edu

Children who are both wasted and stunted are also underweight and have a high risk of death: a descriptive epidemiology of multiple anthropometric deficits using data from 51 countries

In Under-nutrition on October 9, 2018 at 7:04 pm

from BioMedCentral

By: Mark Myatt, Tanya Khara, Simon Schoenbuchner, Silke Pietzsch, Carmel Dolan, Natasha Lelijveld and André Briend.

Archives of Public Health201876:28


Wasting and stunting are common. They are implicated in the deaths of almost two million children each year and account for over 12% of disability-adjusted life years lost in young children. Wasting and stunting tend to be addressed as separate issues despite evidence of common causality and the fact that children may suffer simultaneously from both conditions (WaSt). Questions remain regarding the risks associated with WaSt, which children are most affected, and how best to reach them.


A database of cross-sectional survey datasets containing data for almost 1.8 million children was compiled. This was analysed to determine the intersection between sets of wasted, stunted, and underweight children; the association between being wasted and being stunted; the severity of wasting and stunting in WaSt children; the prevalence of WaSt by age and sex, and to identify weight-for-age z-score and mid-upper arm circumference thresholds for detecting cases of WaSt. An additional analysis of the WHO Growth Standards sought the maximum possible weight-for-age z-score for WaSt children.


All children who were simultaneously wasted and stunted were also underweight. The maximum possible weight-for-age z-score in these children was below − 2.35. Low WHZ and low HAZ have a joint effect on WAZ which varies with age and sex. WaSt and “multiple anthropometric deficits” (i.e. being simultaneously wasted, stunted, and underweight) are identical conditions. The conditions of being wasted and being stunted are positively associated with each other. WaSt cases have more severe wasting than wasted only cases. WaSt cases have more severe stunting than stunted only cases. WaSt is largely a disease of younger children and of males. Cases of WaSt can be detected with excellent sensitivity and good specificity using weight-for-age.


The category “multiple anthropometric deficits” can be abandoned in favour of WaSt. Therapeutic feeding programs should cover WaSt cases given the high mortality risk associated with this condition. Work on treatment effectiveness, duration of treatment, and relapse after cure for WaSt cases should be undertaken. Routine reporting of the prevalence of WaSt should be encouraged. Further work on the aetiology, prevention, case-finding, and treatment of WaSt cases as well as the extent to which current interventions are reaching WaSt cases is required.

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.

Anthropometric predictors of mortality in undernourished adults in the Ajiep Feeding Programme in Southern Sudan

In Under-nutrition on July 8, 2013 at 8:03 pm

In Uncategorized on July 8, 2013 at 8:00 pm

by Abel H Irena, David A Ross, Peter Salama, and Steve Collins

Am J Clin Nutr August 2013


Background: Various nutritional assessment tools are available to assess adult undernutrition, but few are practical in poorly served areas of low-income countries.

Objective: The objective was to assess the relation between midupper arm circumference (MUAC), weight, body mass index (BMI), and clinical assessment for edema in predicting mortality in adults with severe acute undernutrition.

Design: Demographic and anthropometric data that were collected in an observational study of 197 adults were analyzed. Participants were aged 18–59 y and were admitted to a therapeutic feeding center in Ajiep, Southern Sudan, during the height of the 1998 famine. Receiver operating curves were calculated and compared.

Results: The mean (±SD) age of the participants was 40.1 ±10.8 y, and the mean (±SD) MUAC, weight, and BMI (in kg/m2) were 16.4 ± 1.3 cm, 35.1 ± 5.2 kg, and 12.6 ± 1.5, respectively. The area under the receiver operating curve for MUAC (0.71) was higher (P = 0.01) than those of BMI (0.57) and weight (0.51). Mean age, weight, and BMI on admission did not differ between survivors and nonsurvivors (P > 0.17). MUAC and edema were independently associated with mortality. For every 1-cm increase in admission MUAC, the odds of subsequent mortality decreased by 58% (adjusted OR: 0.42; 95% CI: 0.28, 0.63; P < 0.001).

Conclusions: In this study, which was conducted at the height of a major famine among adults with extremely severe grades of undernutrition, MUAC and edema were better indicators of short-term prognosis than was BMI. Further studies are needed to define a critical MUAC threshold for the diagnosis of acute adult undernutrition.

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Six-Month Mortality among HIV-Infected Adults Presenting for Antiretroviral Therapy with Unexplained Weight Loss, Chronic Fever or Chronic Diarrhea in Malawi

In Under-nutrition on November 25, 2012 at 8:14 am

by Monique van Lettow, Ann Åkesson, Alexandra L. C. Martiniuk, Andrew Ramsay, Adrienne K. Chan, Suzanne T. Anderson, Anthony D. Harries, Elizabeth Corbett, Robert S. Heyderman, Rony Zachariah, Richard A. Bedell

from PLOs November 19, 2012

(downlowad the paper)




In sub-Saharan Africa, early mortality is high following initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART). We investigated 6-month outcomes and factors associated with mortality in HIV-infected adults being assessed for ART initiation and presenting with weight loss, chronic fever or diarrhea, and with negative TB sputum microscopy.


A prospective cohort study was conducted in Malawi, investigating mortality in relation to ART uptake, microbiological findings and treatment of opportunistic infection (OIs), 6 months after meeting ART eligibility criteria.


Of 469 consecutive adults eligible for ART, 74(16%) died within 6 months of enrolment, at a median of 41 days (IQR 20–81). 370(79%) started ART at a median time of 18 days (IQR 7–40) after enrolment. Six-month case-fatality rates were higher in patients with OIs; 25/121(21%) in confirmed/clinical TB and 10/50(20%) with blood stream infection (BSI) compared to 41/308(13%) in patients with no infection identified. Median TB treatment start was 27 days (IQR 17–65) after enrolment and mortality [8 deaths (44%)] was significantly higher among 18 culture-positive patients with delayed TB diagnosis compared to patients diagnosed clinically and treated promptly with subsequent culture confirmation [6/34 (18%);p = 0.04]. Adjusted multivariable analysis, excluding deaths in the first 21 days, showed weight loss >10%, low CD4 count, severe anemia, laboratory-only TB diagnosis, and not initiating ART to be independently associated with increased risk of death.


Mortality remains high among chronically ill patients eligible for ART. Prompt initiation of ART is vital: more than half of deaths were among patients who never started ART. Diagnostic and treatment delay for TB was strongly associated with risk of death. More than half of deaths occurred without identification of a specific infection. ART programmes need access to rapid point-of-care-diagnostic tools for OIs. The role of early empiric OI treatment in this population requires further evaluation in clinical trials.

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