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To identify predictors of recovery in children with uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
This is a secondary data analysis from an individual randomised controlled trial, where children with uncomplicated SAM were randomised to three feeding regimens, namely ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) sourced from Compact India, locally prepared RUTF or augmented home-prepared foods, under two age strata (6–17 months and 18–59 months) for 16 weeks or until recovery. Three sets of predictors that could influence recovery, namely child, family and nutritional predictors, were analysed.
Rural and urban slum areas of three states of India, namely Rajasthan, Delhi and Tamil Nadu.
In total, 906 children (age: 6–59 months) were analysed to estimate the adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) using the Cox proportional hazard ratio model to identify various predictors.
Being a female child (AHR: 1·269 (1·016, 1·584)), better employment status of the child’s father (AHR: 1·53 (1·197, 1·95)) and residence in a rental house (AHR: 1·485 (1·137, 1·94)) increased the chances of recovery. No hospitalisation (AHR: 1·778 (1·055, 2·997)), no fever, (AHR: 2·748 (2·161, 3·494)) and ≤ 2 episodes of diarrhoea (AHR: 1·579 (1·035, 2·412)) during the treatment phase; availability of community-based peer support to mothers for feeding (AHR: 1·61 (1·237, 2·097)) and a better weight-for-height Z-score (WHZ) at enrolment (AHR: 1·811 (1·297, 2·529)) predicted higher chances of recovery from SAM.
The probability of recovery increases in children with better WHZ and with the initiation of treatment for acute illnesses to avoid hospitalisation, availability of peer support and better employment status of the father.
Early childhood factors can have persisting effects on development and cognition in children. We propose to explore the trends of Fe deficiency and Pb toxicity in early childhood and their association with child development at 2 years of age and cognition at 5 years.
Longitudinal birth cohort study.
Urban slum, Vellore, India.
Children enrolled at birth were followed up regularly in the first 2 years with developmental and cognitive assessments at 2 and 5 years of age, respectively.
The birth cohort enrolled 251 children with 228 children followed up at 2 years and 212 at 5 years of age. Fe deficiency (ID) was highest at 15 months of age and improved subsequently at 24 months. Blood Pb levels (BLL) remained high at all age groups with an increasing trend with age; 97 % at 36 months having high BLL. Persistent high mean BLL at 15 and 24 months had negative association with both cognition and expressive language raw scores of 24 months, while high mean BLL at 15, 24 and 36 months had no significant association with any of the domains of cognition at 5 years of age. Early childhood cumulative body Fe status at 7, 15 and 24 months did not show any association with child development at 2 years, but was associated with verbal, performance and processing speed components of cognition at 5 years.
Optimising body Fe status and limiting Pb exposure in early childhood can augment child development and school entry cognition.
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