Factors associated with stunting in healthy children aged 5 years and less living in Bangui (RCA)

Abstract : Stunting remains a major public health concern worldwide. Although its global prevalence is slowly decreasing, the actual number of affected children is still rising in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the Central African Republic (CAR), about one third of all children below the age of five are stunted. Stunting is correlated with many long-term consequences, including poor cogni-tive development and a higher rate of morbidity and mortality, making stunting a major contributor to poverty. In CAR, little is known about the factors that contribute to stunting. This study aimed at analysing, in a cross-sectional study, the main factors associated with stunting in a group of 414 children recruited between December 2011 and November 2013, aged five years or less and living in Bangui. For all children, demographic, socioeconomic and anthropometric data were recorded and asymptomatic enteropathogen carriage was assessed in stool samples using classical microbiological assays. The study group had a mean age of 14.2±10 months. Fifty-eight percent (292/414) were boys, and 36 percent (148/414) exhibited stunted growth. Of the stunted children, 51% (75/148) showed a moderate delay in linear growth for their age group [height-forage z-score (HAZ) between-2 and-3 SD] while 49% (73/148) presented a severe delay (HAZ <-3). Factors significantly associated with stunting included gender (aOR: 1.67; 95% CI: 1.07; 2.62 for boys compared to girls) and age (aOR of 3.98 (95% CI: 2.45; 6.46) for toddlers and aOR 4.42 (95% CI: 2.36; 8.28) for children compared to infants). Most importantly, we identified being overweight [weight-for-height z-score (WHZ) > 2 SD; aOR: 3.21; 95% CI: 1.50; 6.90 of overweight compared to normal weight] as also being significantly associated with stunting. This is the first study showing that even in the poorest countries of the world there is an association of stunting with being overweight. PLOS ONE | https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.
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PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2017, 12 (8), pp.e0182363. 〈10.1371/journal.pone.0182363〉
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Pascale Vonaesch, Laura Tondeur, Sebastien Breurec, Petula Bata, Liem Binh Luong Nguyen, et al.. Factors associated with stunting in healthy children aged 5 years and less living in Bangui (RCA). PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2017, 12 (8), pp.e0182363. 〈10.1371/journal.pone.0182363〉. 〈pasteur-01634924〉

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