Document Type : Research Article
Background: Acute malnutrition is a public health problem of epidemic proportions.
Feeding approaches for infants who are under 6 months of age with severe acute
malnutrition should prioritize establishing, or re-establishing, effective exclusive
breastfeeding by the mother or other caregiver. The aim of this study is to identify the
various risk factors and determinants of severe acute malnutrition as defined by WHO
growth reference standards in infants aged below 6 months of age at district hospital in
Materials& Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted in the
Department of Pediatrics, District hospital, Dholpur, Rajasthan, India during one year
period. 30 comprised infants with SAM as defined by current WHO guidelines:
weight‐ for‐ length Z‐ score (WLZ) <−3 and/or bilateral nutritional oedema (WHO,
2013); the other comprised age‐ and sex‐ matched infants who were not severely
malnourished (control group) defined as WLZ≥−2to<2and mid‐ upper‐ arm
circumference (MUAC)≥125 mm.
Results:Mean age of Cases and Controls was 16.03±1.18 and 20.38±1.23 weeks
respectively. Mean length of infants was 60.3±3.12 cm in cases and 67.7±2.78 cm in
control group, which was statistically significant (P<0.05*). The statistically significant
of MUAC (mm) in between groups, which was shorter arm circumferences in
malnourished infants. The duration of exclusive breast feeds was less (8.9±1.86 weeks)
as compared to control group (20.8±4.36 weeks), which was statistically significant
(P<0.05*).Mothers of the SAM infants were significantly lighter, shorter, and had lower
MUAC than control mothers.
Conclusion: The study findings will help to increase the knowledge about the factors
associated with severe acute malnutrition. There is a statistical correlation of Severe
Acute Malnutrition with rural area, maternal Illiteracy and low socioeconomic status,
and failure of exclusive breast feeding for 6 months.