Nevin Manimala Statistics

Post-malnutrition growth and its associations with child survival and non-communicable disease risk: A secondary analysis of the Malawi ‘ChroSAM’ cohort

Public Health Nutr. 2023 Mar 6:1-26. doi: 10.1017/S1368980023000411. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Explore patterns of post-malnutrition growth (PMGr) during and after treatment for severe malnutrition, and describe associations with survival and non-communicable disease (NCD) risk seven years post-treatment.

DESIGN: Six indicators of PMGr were derived based on a variety of timepoints, weight, weight-for-age z-score (WAZ) and height-for-age z-score (HAZ). Three categorisation methods included: no categorisation, quintiles, and latent class analysis (LCA). Associations with mortality risk, and seven NCD indicators were analysed.

SETTING: Secondary data from Blantyre, Malawi between 2006 and 2014.

PARTICIPANTS: A cohort of 1024 children treated for severe malnutrition (weight-for-length z-score <70% median and/or MUAC<110 mm and/or bilateral oedema) at aged 5 to 168 months.

RESULTS: Faster weight gain during treatment (g/day) and after treatment (g/kg/day) were associated with lower risk of death (aOR 0.99, 95%CI 0.99 to 1.00; and aOR 0.91, 95% CI 0.87 to 0.94 respectively). In survivors (mean age 9 years), it was associated with greater hand grip strength (0.02, 95%CI 0.00 to 0.03) and larger HAZ (6.62, 95%CI 1.31 to 11.9), both indicators of better health. However, faster weight gain was also associated with increased waist:hip ratio (0.02, 95%CI 0.01 to 0.03), an indicator of later life NCD risk. The clearest patterns of association were seen when defining PMGr based on weight gain in g/day during treatment and using the LCA method to describe growth patterns. Weight deficit at admission was a major confounder.

CONCLUSIONS: A complex pattern of benefits and risks is associated with faster PMGr. Both initial weight deficit and rate of weight gain have important implications for future health.

PMID:36876519 | DOI:10.1017/S1368980023000411

By Nevin Manimala

Portfolio Website for Nevin Manimala