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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1994-1997

Effect of malnutrition in infants with cystic fibrosis in India: An underestimated danger

1 Department of Pediatrics, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Biostatistics, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sneha Varkki
Department of Pediatrics, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_2421_20

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Aims: To assess the clinical profile and nutritional status of infants with cystic fibrosis (CF) and track their nutritional outcomes with treatment. Materials and Methods: This retrospective study was conducted in a tertiary-care institute in South India. Demographic and clinical information were collected. The nutritional status and treatment outcome was assessed by Z-scores for weight-for-age (WAZ), length-for-age (LAZ), and weight-for-length (WLZ) at diagnosis and follow-up. Results: Nineteen infants with CF had mean follow-up duration of 9.7 ± 8.7 months. There was a mean delay of 2.9 ± 2.1 months from symptom onset to diagnosis, by which time infants were severely malnourished (mean WAZ -4.68 ± 1.8). Pneumonia, summer dehydration with electrolyte abnormalities (42.1%), and a combination of anemia, hypoalbuminemia, and malnutrition (42.1%) were the predominant features. Significant weight loss had been recorded in undiagnosed infants by second month of life before symptom onset. At follow-up, there was a remarkable improvement in WAZ (P 0.001), but not LAZ and WLZ. There was a high mortality rate of 37% in these infants. Conclusions: Malnutrition is a significant morbidity in infants with CF in India. There was significant improvement of WAZ with treatment, but it lagged behind the recommended targets. There is an opportunity for identification of CF infants at the time of vaccination at six and ten weeks of age, by the primary care physician and pediatrician. Screening of young infants having failure to thrive in the immunization clinic may be a strategy for early diagnosis of infants with severe CF phenotype.

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