Co-morbidities in Children with Severe Acute Malnutrition – A Hospital based Study

Author(s): Susheel Kumar Saini, Ajay Kumar Saini, Seema Kumari

Objective: To find out the co-morbidities such as infections and micronutrient deficiencies in hospitallized children with severe acute malnutrition.

Study design: In this hospital based descriptive type of observational study, conducted at the Department of Pediatrics, SMS Medical College 125 severe acute malnourished children were included. Patients under-go relevant investigation to find out associated infectious co morbidities. Micronutrient deficiencies assessed by clinical signs. Vitamin D status assessed by laboratory test.

Results: 42% had diarrhea and 27% had acute respiratory tract infections as co morbid condition. Tuberculosis was diagnosed in 13% of cases. Anemia was present in 86% cases. Signs of vitamin B and vitamin A deficiency were seen in 24% and 6% cases. 97% children have inadequate vitamin D levels.

Conclusions: Timely identification and treatment of various co-morbidities is likely to break undernutrition-disease cycle, and to decrease mortality and improve outcome. Nearly all SAM patients have inadequacy of Vitamin D. So Vitamin D supplement should be given to all SAM patients.

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