How do children with severe underweight and wasting respond to treatment? A pooled secondary data analysis to inform future intervention studies
Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article › peer-review
- Obeng‐Amoako et al_Maternal & Child Nutrition_2023_Vol 19(1)_e13434
Final published version, 1.4 MB, PDF document
Children with weight-for-age z-score (WAZ) <-3 have a high risk of death, yet this indicator is not widely used in nutrition treatment programming. This pooled secondary data analysis of children aged 6-59 months aimed to examine the prevalence, treatment outcomes, and growth trajectories of children with WAZ <-3 versus children with WAZ ≥-3 receiving outpatient treatment for wasting and/or nutritional oedema, to inform future protocols. Binary treatment outcomes between WAZ <-3 and WAZ ≥-3 admissions were compared using logistic regression. Recovery was defined as attaining mid-upper-arm circumference ≥12.5 cm and weight-for-height z-score ≥-2, without oedema, within a period of 17 weeks of admission. Data from 24,829 children from 9 countries drawn from 13 datasets were included. 55% of wasted children had WAZ <-3. Children admitted with WAZ <-3 compared to those with WAZ ≥-3 had lower recovery rates (28.3% vs. 48.7%), higher risk of death (1.8% vs. 0.7%), and higher risk of transfer to inpatient care (6.2% vs. 3.8%). Growth trajectories showed that children with WAZ <-3 had markedly lower anthropometry at the start and end of care, however, their patterns of anthropometric gains were very similar to those with WAZ ≥-3. If moderately wasted children with WAZ <-3 were treated in therapeutic programmes alongside severely wasted children, we estimate caseloads would increase by 32%. Our findings suggest that wasted children with WAZ <-3 are an especially vulnerable group and those with moderate wasting and WAZ <-3 likely require a higher intensity of nutritional support than is currently recommended. Longer or improved treatment may be necessary, and the timeline and definition of recovery likely need review.
|Journal||Maternal and Child Nutrition|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2023|
© 2022 The Authors. Maternal & Child Nutrition published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
- Faculty of Science - Anthropometry, Child nutrition, Malnutrition, Stunting, Underweight, Wasting