Acute malnutrition and its determinants among children below 5 years of age using mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) in Lahore: a cross-sectional study
Keywords:Malnutrition, MUAC, under-five children
Objectives: The study aimed to assess the nutritional status of children less than 5 years of age using mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) and its determinants.
Materials & Methods: This analytical cross-sectional study was conducted in Akhter Saeed Teaching Hospital Lahore and Lady Wallington Hospital Lahore from April 2019 till Oct 2019. Using systematic random sampling technique, 225 children were included in the study. A self -structured questionnaire was used to record sociodemographic details and feeding practices. A non-stretch tape measure was used for measurement of (MUAC). Malnutrition was categorized into severe acute malnutrition (MUAC; <115mm) and moderate acute malnutrition (MUAC; 115mm-124mm). MUAC ranging from 125-135 signified that child is at risk of developing malnutrition while MUAC more than135mm was considered as normal. Data were entered and analyzed using SPSS Version 22. Chi square test was applied to determine the association between the variables. p-value ≤ 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: The mean age of children is 2.43± 0.75 years. Malnutrition was observed in 54.6% study participants. Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) was found in 59 (26.2%) children and moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) was found in 64 (28.4%). The no of children at the risk of developing malnutrition was 32 (14.2%) while remaining 70 (31.1%) were well nourished. The percentage of severe malnutrition was more in female children as 27% had MUAC less than 115 mm. Delayed initiation of breast feeding (p value=0.008), having poor economic status (p value= 0.004), incomplete immunization status (p value= 0.003), poor appetite (p value= 0.001) and frequent episodes of illness (p value= <0.001) were significantly associated with malnutrition.
Conclusion: Prevalence of malnutrition in children less than 5 years of age is high in Lahore. Female children were more likely to become malnourished rather than males. Delayed initiation of breast feeding, having poor economic status, incomplete immunization status, poor appetite and frequent episodes of illness were significantly associated with malnutrition.
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