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Not water, sanitation and hygiene practice, but timing of stunting is associated with recovery from stunting at 24 months: results from a multi-country birth cohort study

  • Subhasish Das (a1), Shah Mohammad Fahim (a1), Md Ashraful Alam (a1), Mustafa Mahfuz (a1) (a2), Pascal Bessong (a3), Esto Mduma (a4), Margaret Kosek (a5), Sanjaya K Shrestha (a6) and Tahmeed Ahmed (a1)...

Abstract

Objectives:

To measure the role of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices on recovery from stunting and assess the role of timing of stunting on the reversal of this phenomenon

Design:

Data from the MAL-ED multi-country birth cohort study was used for the current analysis. Generalised linear mixed-effects models were used to estimate the probability of reversal of stunting with WASH practice and timing of stunting as the exposures of interest.

Setting:

Seven different countries across three continents.

Participants:

A total of 612 children <2 years of age.

Results:

We found that not WASH practice but timing of stunting had statistically significant association with recovery from stunting. In comparison with the children who were stunted at 6 months, children who were stunted at 12 months had 1·9 times (β = 0·63, P = 0·03) more chance of recovery at 24 months of age. And, children who were stunted at 18 months of age even had higher odds (adjusted OR = 3·01, β = 1·10, P < 0·001) of recovery than children who were stunted at 6 months. Additionally, mother’s height (β = 0·59, P = 0·04) and household income (β = 0·02, P < 0·05) showed statistically significant associations with the outcome.

Conclusions:

The study provided evidence for the role of timing of stunting on the recovery from the phenomenon. This novel finding indicates that the programmes to promote linear growth should be directed at the earliest possible timepoints in the course of life.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email subhasish.das@icddrb.org

References

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Not water, sanitation and hygiene practice, but timing of stunting is associated with recovery from stunting at 24 months: results from a multi-country birth cohort study

  • Subhasish Das (a1), Shah Mohammad Fahim (a1), Md Ashraful Alam (a1), Mustafa Mahfuz (a1) (a2), Pascal Bessong (a3), Esto Mduma (a4), Margaret Kosek (a5), Sanjaya K Shrestha (a6) and Tahmeed Ahmed (a1)...

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