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Childhood stunting remains a major public health concern in Bangladesh. To accelerate the reduction rate of stunting, special focus is required during the first 23 months of a child’s life when the bulk of growth takes place. Therefore the present study explored individual-, maternal- and household-level factors associated with stunting among children under 2 years of age in Bangladesh.
Data were collected through a nationwide cross-sectional survey conducted between October 2015 and January 2016. A two-stage cluster random sampling procedure was applied to select 11 428 households. In the first stage, 210 enumerations areas (EA) were selected with probability proportional to EA size (180 EA from rural areas, thirty EA from urban slums). In the second stage, an average of fifty-four households were selected from each EA through systematic random sampling.
Rural areas and urban slums of Bangladesh.
A total of 6539 children aged 0–23 months.
Overall, 29·9 % of the children were stunted. After adjusting for all potential confounders in the modified Poisson regression model, child’s gender, birth weight (individual level), maternal education, age at first pregnancy, nutrition (maternal level), administrative division, place of residence, socio-economic status, food security status, access to sanitary latrine and toilet hygiene condition (household level) were significantly associated with stunting.
The study identified a number of potentially addressable multilevel risk factors for stunting among young children in Bangladesh that should be addressed through comprehensive multicomponent interventions.