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Among young Samoan children, diet may not be optimal: in 2015, 16·1 % of 24–59-month-olds were overweight/obese, 20·3 % stunted and 34·1 % anaemic. The present study aimed to identify dietary patterns among 24–59-month-old Samoan children and evaluate their association with: (i) child, maternal and household characteristics; and (ii) nutritional status indicators (stunting, overweight/obesity, anaemia).
A community-based, cross-sectional study. Principal component analysis on 117 FFQ items was used to identify empirical dietary patterns. Distributions of child, maternal and household characteristics were examined by factor score quintiles. The regression of nutritional status indicators v. these quintiles was performed using logistic regression models.
Ten villages on the Samoan island of Upolu.
A convenience sample of mother–child pairs (n 305).
Two dietary patterns, modern and neo-traditional, emerged. The modern pattern was loaded with ‘westernized’ foods (red meat, condiments and snacks). The neo-traditional pattern included vegetables, local starches, coconuts, fish and poultry. Following the modern diet was associated with urban residence, greater maternal educational attainment, higher socio-economic status, lower vitamin C intake and higher sugar intake. Following the neo-traditional diet was associated with rural residence, lower socio-economic status, higher vitamin C intake and lower sugar intake. While dietary patterns were not related to stunting or anaemia, following the neo-traditional pattern was positively associated with child overweight/obesity (adjusted OR=4·23, 95 % CI 1·26, 14·17, for the highest quintile, P-trend=0·06).
Further longitudinal monitoring and evaluation of early childhood growth and development are needed to understand the influences of early diet on child health in Samoa.
Echocardiography has been proposed as a method to screen children for rheumatic heart disease. The World Heart Federation has established guidelines for echocardiographic screening. In this study, we describe a rapid echocardiogram screening protocol according to the World Heart Federation guidelines in Samoa, endemic for rheumatic heart disease.
We performed echocardiogram screening in schoolchildren in Samoa between 2013 and 2015. A brief screening echocardiogram was performed on all students. Children with predefined criteria suspicious for rheumatic hear diseases were referred for a more comprehensive echocardiogram. Complete echocardiograms were classified according to the World Heart Federation guidelines and severity of valve disease.
Echocardiographic screening was performed on 11,434 children, with a mean age of 10.2 years; 51% of them were females. A total of 558 (4.8%) children underwent comprehensive echocardiography, including 49 students who were randomly selected as controls. Definite rheumatic heart disease was observed in 115 students (10.0 per 1000): 92 students were classified as borderline (8.0 per 1000) and 23 with CHD. Advanced disease was identified in 50 students (4.4 per 1000): 15 with severe mitral regurgitation, five with severe aortic regurgitation, 11 with mitral stenoses, and 19 with mitral and aortic valve disease.
We successfully applied a rapid echocardiographic screening protocol to a large number of students over a short time period – 28 days of screening over a 3-year time period – to identify a high prevalence of rheumatic heart disease. We also reported a significantly higher rate of advanced disease compared with previously published echocardiographic screening programmes.
Young children are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition as nutrition transition progresses. The present study aimed to document the prevalence, coexistence and correlates of nutritional status (stunting, overweight/obesity and anaemia) in Samoan children aged 24–59 months.
A cross-sectional community-based survey. Height and weight were used to determine prevalence of stunting (height-for-age Z-score <−2) and overweight/obesity (BMI-for-age Z-score >+2) based on WHO growth standards. Anaemia was determined using an AimStrip Hemoglobin test system (Hb <110 g/l).
Ten villages on the Samoan island of Upolu.
Mother–child pairs (n 305) recruited using convenience sampling.
Moderate or severe stunting was apparent in 20·3 % of children, 16·1 % were overweight/obese and 34·1 % were anaemic. Among the overweight/obese children, 28·6 % were also stunted and 42·9 % anaemic, indicating dual burden of malnutrition. Stunting was significantly less likely among girls (OR=0·41; 95 % CI 0·21, 0·79, P<0·01) than boys. Overweight/obesity was associated with higher family socio-economic status and decreased sugar intake (OR per 10 g/d=0·89, 95 % CI 0·80, 0·99, P=0·032). The odds of anaemia decreased with age and anaemia was more likely in children with an anaemic mother (OR=2·20; 95 % CI 1·22, 3·98, P=0·007). No child, maternal or household characteristic was associated with more than one of the nutritional status outcomes, highlighting the need for condition-specific interventions in this age group.
The observed prevalences of stunting, overweight/obesity and anaemia suggest that it is critical to invest in nutrition and develop health programmes targeting early childhood growth and development in Samoa.
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