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Publication Detail
Anthropometry, body composition and chronic disease risk factors among Zambian school-Aged children who experienced severe malnutrition in early childhood
There is limited information as to whether people who experience severe acute malnutrition (SAM) as young children are at increased risk of overweight, high body fat, and associated chronic diseases in later life. We followed up, when aged 7-12 years, 100 Zambian children who were hospitalised for SAM before age 2 years and 85 neighbourhood controls who had never experienced SAM. We conducted detailed anthropometry, body composition assessment by bioelectrical impedance (BIA) and deuterium dilution (D2O), and measured blood lipids, haemoglobin (Hb) and haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). Groups were compared by linear regression following multiple imputation for missing variables. Children with prior SAM were slightly smaller than controls but differences, controlling for age, sex, socioeconomic status, and HIV exposure or infection, were significant only for hip circumference, suprailiac skinfold, and fat-free mass index by D2O. Blood lipids and HbA1c did not differ between groups but Hb was lower by 7.8 (95% CI 0.8, 14.7) g/L and systolic blood pressure was 3.4 (95% CI 0.4, 6.4) mmHg higher among the prior SAM group. Both anaemia and high HbA1c were common among both groups, indicating a population at risk for the double burden of over-and under-nutrition and associated infectious and chronic diseases. The prior SAM children may have been at slightly greater risk than the controls; this was of little clinical significance at this young age but the children should be followed when older and chronic diseases manifest.
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