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Chronic aflatoxin exposure has been associated with childhood stunting (length-for-age/height-for-age < –2 sd), while data lacks for Bangladesh, a country with substantial burden of childhood stunting. This paper examined the association between aflatoxin exposure and childhood stunting in a slum setting of Dhaka city.
In this MAL-ED aflatoxin birth cohort study, plasma samples were assayed for aflatoxin B1-lysine adduct (AFB1-lys) by MS at 7, 15, 24 and 36 months of age for 208, 196, 173 and 167 children to assess chronic aflatoxin exposure. Relationship between aflatoxin exposure and anthropometric measures was examined by mixed-effects logistic regression models.
Setting and participants:
The study was conducted in Mirpur, Dhaka, where children were followed from birth to 36 months.
Prevalence of stunting increased from 21 % at 7 months to 49 % at 36 months of age. Mean AFB1-lys concentrations at 7, 15, 24 and 36 months were 1·30 (range 0·09–5·79), 1·52 (range 0·06–6·35), 3·43 (range 0·15–65·60) and 3·70 (range 0·09–126·54) pg/mg albumin, respectively, and the percentage of children with detectable AFB1-lys was 10, 21, 18 and 62 %, respectively. No association was observed between aflatoxin exposure and stunting in multivariable analyses. Factors associated with childhood stunting were age, low birth weight, maternal height, stool myeloperoxidase and number of people sleeping in one room.
A relatively lower exposure to aflatoxin may not influence the linear growth of children. This finding indicates a threshold level of exposure for linear growth deficit and further investigation in other areas where higher concentrations of aflatoxin exposure exist.
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
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.
Seven different countries across three continents.
A total of 612 children <2 years of age.
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.
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.
To investigate the prevalence and sociodemographic determinants of household-level mother–child double burden (MCDB) of malnutrition in Bangladesh.
The analysis was done using Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2014 data. Multivariable logistic regression identified the sociodemographic factors associated with double-burden households.
Nationally representative cross-sectional survey.
A total of 5951 households were included in the analysis.
A coexistence of overweight or obese mother and underweight or stunted or wasted child (OWOBM/USWC) was found in 6·3 % households. The prevalence of overweight or obese mother and underweight child (OWOBM/UWC) was 3·8 %, of overweight or obese mother and stunted child (OWOBM/STC) was 4·7 %, and of overweight or obese mother and wasted child (OWOBM/WSC) was 1·7 %. Mother’s age 21–25 years at first birth, middle wealth index group, having two or three children and having four or more children showed statistically significant (P<0·05) associations with OWOBM/UWC. Households with mother’s age 21–25 years at first birth, middle wealth index group, no exposure to information media, having two or three children and having four or more children had higher odds of OWOBM/STC and OWOBM/USWC which were statistically significant (P<0·05). Delivery of child through caesarean section was significantly associated with OWOBM/USWC (P<0·05).
Although the prevalence of MCDB of malnutrition in Bangladesh is low, prevention programmes must consider the nutrition concerns of the entire household to prevent future risks. Such programmes also need to be tagged with family planning and increasing awareness through social and behaviour change counselling and exposure to information media.
To understand caregivers’ perceptions of children’s linear growth and to identify the cultural meanings and perceptions of risk associated with poor height attainment.
Three investigators from Bangladesh conducted twelve focus group discussions.
The study was conducted in rural and slum settings in Bangladesh.
Participants included mothers and alternative caregivers (n 81) who were recruited by household screening. No eligible, recruited subjects refused participation.
Caregivers reported limited experience with growth monitoring services from the health system. Caregivers mainly use visual cues and developmental milestones to understand if children are growing properly, and recognize that children normally experience both weight gain and linear growth with age. Mothers expressed concern over children’s malnutrition and short stature, but did not discuss children’s failure to attain a ‘growth potential’ or distinguish inherited short stature from stunting. Caregivers interpret the consequences of poor height attainment as primarily social and economic and cite few health risks.
Linear growth interpretation is determined more by community norms than by guidance from nutrition programming or the health system. Interventions to prevent or reduce linear growth failure may be perceived to have limited value where appropriate linear growth in children is determined by comparison to peers and siblings. Such perceptions may be significant barriers to programmes addressing stunting prevention in settings where many children are stunted. Efforts to raise awareness about the risks of linear growth faltering may need to consider delivering messages to caregivers that emphasize the social and economic consequences of stunting.
We quantified the prevalence of vitamin D status in 6–24-month-old underweight and normal-weight children and identified the socio-economic and dietary predictors for status.
Cross-sectional, baseline data from a nutritional intervention study were analysed. Multinomial logistic regression was used to estimate the odds of being vitamin D deficient or insufficient with the reference being vitamin D sufficient.
Urban slum area of Mirpur field site, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Underweight (weight-for-age Z-score <−2·00) and normal-weight (weight-for-age Z-score ≥−1·00) children aged 6–24 months.
Among 468 underweight children, 23·1 % were sufficient, 42·3 % insufficient, 31·2 % deficient and 3·4 % severely vitamin D deficient. Among 445 normal-weight children, 14·8 % were sufficient, 39·6 % insufficient and 40·0 % deficient and 5·6 % severely deficient. With adjusted multinominal regression analysis, risk factors (OR (95 % CI)) for vitamin D deficiency in underweight children were: older age group (18–24 months old; 2·9 (1·5–5·7)); measurement of vitamin D status during winter (3·0 (1·4–6·4)) and spring (6·9 (3·0–16·1)); and maternal education (≥6 years of institutional education; 2·2 (1·0–4·9)). In normal-weight children, older age group (3·6 (1·2–10·6)) and living in the richest quintile (3·7 (1·1–12·5)) were found to be significantly associated with vitamin D insufficiency.
The study demonstrates a significant burden of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency in both underweight and normal-weight children <2 years of age from an urban slum of Bangladesh. Identification of risk factors may help in mitigating the important burden in such children.
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