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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 2237-2243

Risk factors for severe acute malnutrition among children aged 6–59 months: A community-based case-control study from Vellore, Southern India


1 Department of Community Health, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Unit of Pain and Palliative Care, Pushpagiri Insitute of Medical Science and Research Institute, Thiruvalla, Kerala, India
3 Locum Consultant Paediatrician, Dr. Gray's Hospital, Elgin, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sam M David
Department of Community Health, Christian Medical College, Bagayam, Vellore - 632 002, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_211_20

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Background: Malnutrition plays an important role in the economic burden of society as well as the country. This study aimed to identify the various risk factors and determinants of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) as defined by WHO growth reference standards in children aged 6 months to 59 months living in Vellore. Methods: A community-based case-control study matched for age (±2months), gender and location was done among the children of the age group 6- 59 months residing in both rural and urban Vellore. Children of age group 6-59 months with SAM according to WHO definition, i.e., weight for height of less than -3SD with or without nutritional oedema were classified as cases. Children with weight-for-height z-score more than -1 SD and MUAC ≥13.5cms were classified as controls. With 2 controls per case, the required sample size was 54 cases and 108 controls. A questionnaire used to identify the risk factors including dietary intake. Uni-variate and multivariate analysis was done to generate an odds ratio and 95% confidence interval for the risk factors. Results: Majority of the cases 64.8% and 50% of the controls belonged to low SES. After adjusting all confounders, Severe Acute Malnutrition was significantly associated with birth weight <2.499kg [AOR- 8.95 (95% CI: 2.98-26.85)], not exclusively breastfed for 6 months [AOR 4.67 (95% CI: 1.72-12.65)], inadequate calorie intake [AOR 8.09 (95% CI: 3.15-20.82)] and mother being underweight [AOR 6.87 (95% CI: 1.92-24.55)]. Conclusion: Programs should be implemented to reduce the poor nutritional status of young girls and women in the reproductive age group. The importance of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, the time of weaning and appropriate feeding practice for the child should be emphasized to postnatal mothers during their hospital visits.


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