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Original Articles

Maternal risk factors in malnourished children: a neglected study

Authors:

R D Rachana ,

Department of Paediatrics, Mysore Medical College & Research Institute, India, IN
About R D
Postgraduate Student, Department of Paediatrics, Mysore Medical College & Research Institute, India
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M R Prashanth,

Department of Paediatrics, Mysore Medical College & Research Institute, India, IN
About M R
Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Mysore Medical College & Research Institute, India
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M R Savitha

Department of Paediatrics, Mysore Medical College & Research Institute, India, IN
About M R
Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Mysore Medical College & Research Institute, India
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Abstract

Background: Protein-energy malnutrition is a major health problem in India and affects the growth and development of young children.

Objectives: This study was aimed at identifying maternal risk factors like nutritional status, social and educational status in mothers of malnourished children which is a neglected aspect of management in childhood malnutrition.

Method: This was a cross-sectional study carried out in the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre, Department of Paediatrics, Mysore Medical College and Research Institute, India, from May to October 2018. Demographic details of mothers were recorded in a questionnaire. Mothers were examined for their weight, height, body mass index (BMI), haemoglobin (Hb), peripheral blood smear and clinical signs of micronutrient deficiencies.

Results: There were 75 mothers of malnourished children (Cases) and 75 mothers of well-nourished children (Controls). Among cases, 37.3% mothers were underweight versus 6.7% mothers in controls (p=0.01). Among cases, 58.7% mothers were stunted versus 32% mothers in controls (p=0.001). Among cases, 58.7% mothers were anaemic versus 42.7% mothers in controls (p=0.02). Among cases, 18.7% mothers were illiterate versus 10.7% mothers in controls (p=0.001). Among cases, 40% mothers were <18 years old during conception versus 26.7% mothers in controls (p=0.002). Among cases, 53.3% children were first born versus 36% children in controls (p=0.028). Among cases, 10.6% mothers had birth spacing of >3 years versus 13.3% mothers in controls (p=0.15). 

Conclusions: In this study significantly more mothers of malnourished children were underweight, stunted, anaemic and illiterate compared to mothers of well-nourished children.

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2020; 49(2): 150-155

How to Cite: Rachana, R.D., Prashanth, M.R. and Savitha, M.R., 2020. Maternal risk factors in malnourished children: a neglected study. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 49(2), pp.150–155. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v49i2.8963
Published on 05 Jun 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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