Catch-up growth in Malawian babies, a longitudinal study of normal and low birthweight babies born in a malarious endemic area


Cited By (since 1996): 1 Export Date: 1 September 2008 Source: Scopus CODEN: EHDED doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2005.06.006 Language of Original Document: English Correspondence Address: Brabin, B.J.; Child and Reproductive Health Group; Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine; Pembroke Place Liverpool L3 5QA, United Kingdom; email: References: Simondon, K.B., Simondon, F., Cornu, A., Delpeuch, F., The utility of infancy weight curves for the prediction of linear growth retardation in pre-school children (1991) Acta Paediatr Scand, 80, pp. 1-6; Sinclair-Smith, C., Dinsdale, F., Emery, J., Evidence of duration and type of illness in children found unexpectedly dead (1976) Arch Dis Child, 51, pp. 424-429; Dowdney, L., Skuse, D., Heptinstall, E., Puckering, C., Zur-Szpiro, S., Growth retardation and developmental delay among inner-city children (1987) J Child Psychol Psychiatry Allied Discipl, 28, pp. 529-541; Barker, D.J.P., Winter, P.D., Osmond, C., Margetts, B., Simmonds, S.J., Weight in infancy and death from ischaemic heart disease (1989) Lancet, 1, pp. 577-580; Ter Kuile, F.O., Terlouw, D.J., Kariuki, S.K., Phillips-Howard, P.A., Mirel, L.B., Hawley, W.A., Impact of permethrin-treated bed nets on malaria, anaemia, growth in infants in an area of intense perennial malaria transmission in western Kenya (2003) Am J Trop Med Hyg, 68 (4 SUPPL.), pp. 68-77; Sackey, M.E., Weigel, M.M., Armijos, R.X., Predictors and nutritional consequences of intestinal parasitic infections in rural Ecuadorian children (2003) J Trop Pediatr, 49 (1), pp. 17-23; Steketee, R.W., Pregnancy, nutrition and parasitic diseases (2003) J Nutr, 133 (5 SUPPL. 2), pp. 1661S-1667S; Newell, M.L., Borja, M.C., Peckham, C., European Collaborative study. 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Objective: To describe growth patterns in infants with low and normal birthweight and determine maternal risk factors for infant undernutrition. Methods: Babies born in a rural district of southern Malawi were recruited. An infant cohort was selected on the basis of low or normal birthweight. Weight and length were recorded at birth and at 4-weekly intervals until at 52 weeks after birth. Maternal characteristics at first antenatal attendance and delivery were obtained. Odds ratios in univariate analysis were adjusted for birthweight. Factors included in the multivariate regression included maternal illiteracy, season of birth, maternal iron deficiency and number of infant illness episodes. Results: Low birthweight infants were shorter and lighter throughout infancy than either normal birthweight or international reference values. At 12 months, placental or peripheral malaria at delivery (adjusted odds 1.8; 1.0, 3.1), number of infant illness episodes (AOR = 2.1; 1.2, 3.6) and maternal illiteracy (AOR = 2.7; 1.5, 4.9) were independently associated with low weight for age. Maternal short stature (AOR = 1.8; 1.1. 3.2), male sex (AOR = 2.4; 1.4, 4.1), number of infant illness episodes (AOR = 2.6; 1.5, 4.4), and birth in the rainy season (2.1; 1.2, 3.7) were independently associated with stunting. Placental or peripheral malaria at delivery (AOR = 2.2; 1.1, 4.4) and number of illness episodes (AOR = 2.2; 1.1, 4.5) were independently associated with thinness. Conclusion: Malaria during pregnancy and maternal illiteracy are important maternal characteristics associated with infant undernutrition. Innovative health/literacy strategies are required to address malaria control in pregnancy in order to reduce the magnitude of its effects on infant undernutrition. ™ 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved

Early Human Development Early Hum.Dev., (81), 10, 841–850