Very Young Nigerian Infants Fit Into the WHO Child Growth Standards Well, as Long as They are Healthy

Ezeofor, I., Ibeziako, S., Garcia, A. and Wright, C. (2013) Very Young Nigerian Infants Fit Into the WHO Child Growth Standards Well, as Long as They are Healthy. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 63(suppl 1). 20th International Congress of Nutrition, Granada, Spain, 15-20 Sep 2013. p. 1408. (doi: 10.1159/000354245)

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Background and objectives: The WHO child growth standards are already widely adopted but it is important to establish how well individual population fit to them. We aimed to assess the growth of very young infants compared to the WHO standards at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria from February to July 2012. Methods: Weight, length, mid-upper-arm-circumference (MUAC) and skinfolds (Triceps and subscapular) of infants 0 – 6 months old admitted to hospital were compared to the retrospective weights of their healthy peers seen at the well baby clinic. These were expressed as z-scores compared to the WHO standards. Results: Well baby clinic weights were recorded for 382 infants at birth, 400 at 6 weeks, 391 at 3 months and 307 at 6 months. Their mean (SD) weight z-scores were close to the expected values of 0 (1) at all ages (Birth -0.0 (1.1); 6 weeks -0.3 (1.1); 3 months -0.3 (1.2); 6 months -0.4 (1.2). Of the 210 hospitalized infants, 87 (41.4%) were under 2 weeks old and 68 (32.4%) were aged 3-6 months. Sepsis (28.6%) and respiratory tract disorders (27.1%) were the commonest diagnoses. For these infants, weight z-scores tended to be low (-1.1 < 1m; -1.2 1 – 3m; -1.2 3 – 6m) but length z-scores were less so as age increased (-1.2 for < 1m; -0.8 for 1 - 3m; -0.4 for 3 - 6m). The mean skinfold z-scores (mean of triceps and subscapular SDS) also tended to be low (-1.6 for > 3 month-olds) as were MUAC SDS (-1.0 for > 3 month-olds). Conclusions: The weight and length z-scores of healthy young Nigerian infants fit the WHO standards well. The poor weight gain observed in the hospitalized group is likely to be the effect of their medical conditions.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Additional Information:Abstract no: PO2365 presented at the 20th International Congress of Nutrition: Granada, Spain, September 15-20, 2013.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ezeofor, Miss Ifeyinwa Obiage and Garcia, Dr Ada and Wright, Professor Charlotte
Authors: Ezeofor, I., Ibeziako, S., Garcia, A., and Wright, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Published Online:13 September 2013

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