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To determine the prevalence of co-morbidity of two important global health challenges, anaemia and stunting, among children aged 6–59 months in low- and middle-income countries.
Secondary analysis of data from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted 2005–2015. Child stunting and anaemia were defined using current WHO classifications. Sociodemographic characteristics of children with anaemia, stunting and co-morbidity of these conditions were compared with those of ‘healthy’ children in the sample (children who were not stunted and not anaemic) using multiple logistic models.
Low- and middle-income countries.
Children aged 6–59 months.
Data from 193 065 children from forty-three countries were included. The pooled proportion of co-morbid anaemia and stunting was 21·5 (95 % CI 21·2, 21·9) %, ranging from the lowest in Albania (2·6 %; 95 % CI 1·8, 3·7 %) to the highest in Yemen (43·3; 95 % CI 40·6, 46·1 %). Compared with the healthy group, children with co-morbidity were more likely to be living in rural areas, have mothers or main carers with lower educational levels and to live in poorer households. Inequality in children who had both anaemia and stunting was apparent in all countries.
Co-morbid anaemia and stunting among young children is highly prevalent in low- and middle-income countries, especially among more disadvantaged children. It is suggested that they be considered under a syndemic framework, the Childhood Anaemia and Stunting (CHAS) Syndemic, which acknowledges the interacting nature of these diseases and the social and environmental factors that promote their negative interaction.
We compared a whole-blood interferon-γ release assay (QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube test, hereafter “QFT-in tube test”) with a tuberculin skin test (TST) to determine which test more accurately identified latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in healthcare staff.
A total of 481 hospital staff members were recruited from 5 hospitals in Melbourne, Australia. They provided information about demographic variables and tuberculosis (TB) risk factors (ie, birth or travel in a country with a high prevalence of TB, working in an occupation likely to involve contact with M. tuberculosis or individuals with TB, or being a household contact of an individual with a proven case of pulmonary TB). The QFT-in tube test and the TST were administered in accordance with standardized protocols. Concordance between the test results and positive risk factors was analyzed using the к statistic, the McNemar test, and logistic regression.
A total of 358 participants had both a TST result and a QFT-in tube test result available for comparison. There were fewer positive QFT-in tube test results than positive TST results (6.7% vs. 33.0%; P < .001). Agreement between the tests was poor (71%; к = 0.16). A positive QFT-in tube test result was associated with birth in a country with a high prevalence of TB, the number of years an individual had lived in a country with a high prevalence of TB (ie, the effect of each additional year, treated as a continuous variable), and high-risk occupational contact. A positive TST result was associated with older age, receipt of bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination, and working in an occupation that involved patient contact. Receipt of BCG vaccination was most strongly associated with discordant results in instances in which the TST result was positive and the QFT-in tube test result was negative.
In a population of healthcare staff with a low prevalence of TB and a significant rate of BCG vaccination, a positive QFT-in tube test result was associated with the presence of known risk factors for TB exposure, whereas a positive TST result was more strongly associated with a prior history of BCG vaccination.
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