Malnutrition and Contributing Factors in Newborns Born at University of Gondar Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Study

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BMJ Open. November 5, 2021; 11 (11): e053577. doi: 10.1136 / bmjopen-2021-053577.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To estimate the prevalence of various indicators of malnutrition (stunting, wasting, low birth weight, concomitant growth retardation and wasting, overweight / obesity and dual burden malnutrition) in newborns and to investigate factors associated with these nutritional disorders.

METHODS: A cross-sectional hospital study was conducted from March 10 to May 2020. A total of 419 newborns were enrolled in the study to estimate the prevalence of low birth weight and stunting. After excluding 28 newborns less than 45 cm in length, 394 newborn-mother dyads were approached to estimate wasting and overweight / obesity. A systematic random sampling technique was used to select the participants. All independent variables were entered into the multivariable logistic regression model and variables with significant associations were identified based on the p-value.

RESULTS: A very small proportion of 2.5% newborns (0.9% to 4.1%) were simultaneously emaciated and stunted. The prevalence rates of low birth weight and wasting were 20.8% (16.8% to 24.6%) and 10.9% (7.82% to 14.01% ), respectively. The extent of overweight / obesity was 12.7% (9.3% to 15.9%) where 2.8% (1.1% to 4.4%) of newborns had the double burden of malnutrition. Having a father with a primary education level of 2.82 (1.19 to 6.65) and having a stunted birth at birth of 3.17 (1.6 to 6.0 ) were variables associated with an increased likelihood of low birth weight. The odds of being overweight or obese are significantly higher in infants born to urban mothers by 0.35 (0.12 to 0.99).

CONCLUSIONS: The study highlights that malnutrition is an urgent public health problem that requires special attention. The fathers’ level of education (low level) and stunting are associated with a high burden of low birth weight. Mothers’ residence (being urban) is associated with a high risk of overweight / obesity in newborns. Thus, improving fathers’ health literacy and preventing stunting at birth are recommended to alleviate low birth weight.

PMID:34740934 | DO I:10.1136 / bmjopen-2021-053577


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