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1.  Identifying Predictors of Childhood Anaemia in North-East India 
The objective of this study is to examine the factors that influence the occurrence of childhood anaemia in North-East India by exploring dataset of the Reproductive and Child Health-II Survey (RCH-II). The study population consisted of 10,137 children in the age-group of 0-6 year(s) from North-East India to explore the predictors of childhood anaemia by means of different background characteristics, such as place of residence, religion, household standard of living, literacy of mother, total children ever born to a mother, age of mother at marriage. Prevalence of anaemia among children was taken as a polytomous variable. The predicted probabilities of anaemia were established via multinomial logistic regression model. These probabilities provided the degree of assessment of the contribution of predictors in the prevalence of childhood anaemia. The mean haemoglobin concentration in children aged 0-6 year(s) was found to be 11.85 g/dL, with a standard deviation of 5.61 g/dL. The multiple logistic regression analysis showed that rural children were at greater risk of severe (OR=2.035; p=0.003) and moderate (OR=1.23; p=0.003) anaemia. All types of anaemia (severe, moderate, and mild) were more prevalent among Hindu children (OR=2.971; p=0.000), (OR=1.195; p=0.010), and (OR=1.201; p=0.011) than among children of other religions whereas moderate (OR=1.406; p=0.001) and mild (OR=1.857; p=0.000) anaemia were more prevalent among Muslim children. The fecundity of the mother was found to have significant effect on anaemia. Women with multiple children were prone to greater risk of anaemia. The multiple logistic regression analysis also confirmed that children of literate mothers were comparatively at lesser risk of severe anaemia. Mother's age at marriage had a significant effect on anaemia of their children as well.
PMCID: PMC3905640  PMID: 24592587
Anaemia; Multiple logistic regression; Odds ratio; Wald Test statistic; India
2.  Prevalence of Vitamin A Deficiency in South Asia: Causes, Outcomes, and Possible Remedies 
Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) has been recognized as a public-health issue in developing countries. Economic constraints, sociocultural limitations, insufficient dietary intake, and poor absorption leading to depleted vitamin A stores in the body have been regarded as potential determinants of the prevalence of VAD in South Asian developing countries. VAD is exacerbated by lack of education, poor sanitation, absence of new legislation and enforcement of existing food laws, and week monitoring and surveillance system. Several recent estimates confirmed higher morbidly and mortality rate among children and pregnant and non-pregnant women of childbearing age. Xerophthalmia is the leading cause of preventable childhood blindness with its earliest manifestations as night blindness and Bitot's spots, followed by blinding keratomalacia, all of which are the ocular manifestations of VAD. Children need additional vitamin A because they do not consume enough in their normal diet. There are three general ways for improving vitamin A status: supplementation, fortification, and dietary diversification. These approaches have not solved the problem in South Asian countries to the desired extent because of poor governmental support and supervision of vitamin A supplementation twice a year. An extensive review of the extant literature was carried out, and the data under various sections were identified by using a computerized bibliographic search via PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. All abstracts and full-text articles were examined, and the most relevant articles were selected for screening and inclusion in this review. Conclusively, high prevalence of VAD in South Asian developing countries leads to increased morbidity and mortality among infants, children, and pregnant women. Therefore, stern efforts are needed to address this issue of public-health significance at local and international level in lower- and middle-income countries of South Asia.
PMCID: PMC3905635  PMID: 24592582
Blindness; Infections; Malnutrition; Vitamin A; South Asia
3.  A Qualitative Exploration of Social Contact Patterns Relevant to Airborne Infectious Diseases in Northwest Bangladesh 
In South Asia, the burden of infectious diseases is high. Socioeconomically and culturally-defined social interaction patterns are considered to be an important determinant in the spread of diseases that are transmitted through person-to-person contact. Understanding of the contact patterns in this region can be helpful to develop more effective control measures. Focus group discussions were used in exploring social contact patterns in northwest Bangladesh. The patterns were assessed for perceived relevance to the spread of airborne infectious diseases, with special focus on diseases, like leprosy and tuberculosis, in which the role of social determinants is well-recognized. Highly-relevant social contact patterns inside the home and the neighbourhood, across age and sex groups, were reported in all group discussions. Outside the home, women and girls reported relevant contacts limited to the close neighbourhood while men mentioned high relevant contacts beyond. This implies that, in theory, infectious diseases can easily be transmitted across age and sex groups in and around the home. Adult men might play a role in the transmission of airborne infectious diseases from outside this confined area since only this group reported highly-relevant social contacts beyond the home. This concept needs further exploration but control programmes in the South Asian region could benefit from considering differences in social contact patterns by gender for risk assessments and planning of preventive interventions.
PMCID: PMC3905636  PMID: 24592583
Airborne infectious diseases; Leprosy; Social contact patterns; Tuberculosis; Bangladesh
4.  Milk and Protein Intake by Pregnant Women Affects Growth of Foetus 
The study assessed the effects of the daily intake of milk and protein by pregnant women on foetal growth and determined the growth pattern and velocity of growth. A total of 504 ultrasound observations from 156 respondents were collected following a cross-sectional design in the last trimester of pregnancy; majority of them were in the last month of pregnancy. De facto and purposive sampling was done, and direct interviews of affluent pregnant women were conducted. Kruskal-Wallis test shows that majority of the respondents had tendency to consume 155.65 to 465.17 mL of milk per day, resulting in better and higher foetal growth. Most respondents consumed about 50-70 g of protein per day, and the foetal growth measurements, such as abdomen-circumference, femur length, biparietal diameter, and head-circumference, on an average, were higher in the same group. Quadratic regression model exhibited that all the traits of growth pattern in Model 1 (low milk and protein intake) appeared to have more mode of decline, in contrast to Model 2 (more milk and protein intake), which shows better growth. In addition, velocity of growth pattern was obtained through the first derivative of quadratic regression of growth pattern. Moreover, 95% confidence interval calculated for regression line slope of Model 1 and Model 2 showed that the estimation point (2 B2) of Model 1 does not lay into 95% CI of Model 2; so, statistical significance assorted and also the same trend conversely hold for Model 2. The rate of growth was highly influenced by maternal milk and protein intake. These findings suggest that contribution of common nutrients or other nutritional factors present in milk and protein promote the growth of foetus.
PMCID: PMC3905637  PMID: 24592584
Anthropometric measurements; Foetal growth pattern; Growth velocity of foetus; Maternal daily protein intake; Maternal milk intake; India
5.  Influence of Protein Intake from Haem and Non-haem Animals and Plant Origin on Inflammatory Biomarkers among Apparently-healthy Adults in Greece 
Intake of different types of protein may be associated with differences in biomarkers among various populations. This work investigated the influence of protein intake from haem and non-haem animals as well as protein from plants on haematological and biochemical parameters in inflammation among apparently-healthy adults living in Greece, a Mediterranean country. Four hundred and ninety apparently-healthy subjects (46±16 years, 40% men), who consecutively visited Polykliniki General Hospital for routine examinations, voluntarily agreed to participate in the study (participation rate 85%). Demographic, anthropometric and lifestyle characteristics were recorded. Participants completed a valid, semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Protein intake was classified into three sources: protein from haem animals, protein from non-haem animals, and protein from plant origin. Fasting blood samples were taken from all participants; uric acid, creatinine, lipids, cystatin C, haptoglobin, haemoglobin, haematocrit, iron, ferritin, white blood cells, monocytes, platelets, and C-reactive protein were measured. Protein intake from only haem animals was associated with increased haemoglobin and haematocrit levels (p<0.05) whereas intake of protein from non-haem animals and plant origin was not associated with the investigated haematological and biochemical markers of low-grade chronic inflammation when lifestyle factors and overall dietary habits were taken into account. Intake of protein from only haem animals seems to be consistently associated with haematological markers. The confounding role of dietary habits and lifestyle variables on the tested parameters deserves further attention in future research.
PMCID: PMC3905638  PMID: 24592585
Diet; Haematocrit; Inflammation; Protein intake; Greece
6.  Comparison of Seafood Consumption in a Group of Italian Mother-Child Pairs 
Seafood is an important component of healthful human diets. Intake of seafood is recommended both for young women and children. In fact, it is a good source of high-quality protein, low in saturated fats, and rich in essential nutrients (e.g. iodine, iron, choline, and selenium) and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs), especially omega-3. However, the relationship between maternal diet and the children's dietary habits is controversial. This study investigated the possible association between the seafood consumption by mothers and that by their 8-11 years old children and compared maternal seafood intakes during pregnancy and about 10 years later. The seafood consumption by 37 pregnant women was assessed in 1999-2001. In 2009, mothers were asked to report their weekly intake and their children's. Mother-child pairs showed a similar consumption pattern: the overall intake was 1.28±0.77 vs 1.19±0.64 (p=0.49) while the sum of specific items was 3.71±3.01 vs 3.18±2.90 (p=0.049). However, it cannot be discerned whether maternal diet affected the children's nutritional habits or vice-versa. In fact, mothers showed to have a higher seafood intake about 10 years after pregnancy (3.71 vs 1.83; p<0.001), suggesting that a progressive modification of dietary habits occurred after delivery, possibly due to the influence of maternal diet on the nutritional habits of offspring or due to the presence of children in the family unit, that could have influenced maternal dietary habits. This dietary improvement could be brought forward through educational interventions addressed to young women, that could also allow a more informed choice of the healthier species of fish both for them and their children.
PMCID: PMC3905639  PMID: 24592586
Child; Food habits; Mothers; Pregnancy; Seafood; Italy
7.  Factors Associated with Food Insecurity in Households of Public School Students of Salvador City, Bahia, Brazil 
This cross-sectional study was conducted to find out the factors associated with food insecurity (FI) in households of the students aged 6-12 years in public schools of Salvador city, Bahia, Brazil. The study included 1,101 households. Food and nutritional insecurity was measured using the Brazilian Food Insecurity Scale (BFIS). Data on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics as well as environmental and housing conditions were collected during the interviews conducted with the reference persons. Multivariate polytomous logistic regression was used in assessing factors associated with food insecurity. We detected prevalence of food insecurity in 71.3% of the households. Severe and moderate forms of FI were diagnosed in 37.1% of the households and were associated with: (i) female gender of the reference person in the households (OR 2.21, 95% CI 1.47-3.31); (ii) a monthly per-capita income below one-fourth of the minimum wage (US$ 191,73) (OR 2.63, 95% CI 1.68-4.08); (iii) number of residents per bedroom below 3 persons (OR 1.91, 95% CI 1.23-2.96); and (iv) inadequate housing conditions (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.12-4.49). Socioeconomic inequalities determine the factors associated with FI of households in Salvador, Bahia. Identifying vulnerabilities is necessary to support public policies in reducing food insecurity in the country. The results of the present study may be used in re-evaluating strategies that may limit the inequalities in school environment.
PMCID: PMC3905641  PMID: 24592588
Food insecurity; Socioeconomic inequalities; Students; Brazil
8.  Nutritional Outcomes Related to Household Food Insecurity among Mothers in Rural Malaysia 
During the past two decades, the rates of food insecurity and obesity have risen. Although a relationship between these two seemingly-paradoxical states has not been repeatedly seen in men, research suggests that a correlation between them exists in women. This study examines nutritional outcomes of household food insecurity among mothers in rural Malaysia. A cross-sectional survey of low-income households was conducted, and 223 households with mothers aged 18–55 years, who were non-lactating, non-pregnant, and had at least one child aged 2–12 years, were purposively selected. A questionnaire was administered that included the Radimer/Cornell Scale, items about sociodemographic characteristics, and anthropometric measurements. Of the households, 16.1% were food-secure whereas 83.9% experienced some kind of food insecurity: 29.6% of households were food-insecure, 19.3% contained individuals who were food-insecure, and 35.0% fell into the ‘child hunger’ category. The result reported that household-size, total monthly income, income per capita, and food expenditure were significant risk factors of household food insecurity. Although there was a high prevalence of overweight and obese mothers (52%) and 47.1% had at-risk waist-circumference (≥80 cm), no significant association was found between food insecurity, body mass index, and waist-circumference. In conclusion, the rates of household food insecurity and overweight and obesity were high in the study population, although they are looking paradoxical. Longitudinal studies with larger sample-sizes are recommended to further examine the relationship between food insecurity and obesity.
PMCID: PMC3905642  PMID: 24592589
Household food insecurity; Obesity; Overweight; Malaysia
9.  Dietary Pattern of Schoolgoing Adolescents in Urban Baroda, India 
Diet plays a very important role in growth and development of adolescents, during which the development of healthy eating habits is of supreme importance. There is a dual burden of undernutrition and overnutrition in this age-group. The study assessed the food habits, food preferences, and dietary pattern of schoolgoing urban adolescents in Baroda, India. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used in this study. A quantitative survey was carried out using a pre-tested self-administered structured questionnaire among 1,440 students from class 6 to 12 in 7 English medium and 23 Gujarati medium schools. Focus group discussions, 5 each with adolescent boys and girls, were held, along with 5 focus group discussions with teachers of Gujarati and English medium schools. Nearly 80% of adolescents had consumed regular food, like dal, rice, chapati, and vegetables, including green leafy vegetables. Nearly 50% of them had consumed chocolates, and about one-third consumed fast foods. Nearly 60% of adolescents had their breakfast daily while the remaining missed taking breakfast daily. Nearly one-third of adolescents were missing a meal once or twice a week. A large majority had consumed regular foods. However, more than half of them had consumed chocolates, soft drinks, and over one-third had taken fast foods.
PMCID: PMC3905643  PMID: 24592590
Adolescents; Dietary pattern; Nutrition; Urban; India
10.  Assessing the Validity and Reliability of a Questionnaire on Dietary Fibre-related Knowledge in a Turkish Student Population 
This study aimed to validate a questionnaire on dietary fibre (DF)-related knowledge in a Turkish student population. Participants (n=360) were either undergraduate students who have taken a nutrition course for 14 weeks (n=174) or those in another group who have not taken such a nutrition course (n=186). Test-retest reliability, internal reliability, and construct validity of the questionnaire were determined. Overall internal reliability (Cronbach's alpha=0.90) and test-retest reliability (0.90) were high. Significant differences (p<0.001) between the scores of the two groups of students indicated that the questionnaire had satisfactory construct validity. It was found that one-fifth of the students were unsure of the correct answer for any item, and 52.5% of them were not aware that DF had to be consumed on a daily basis. Only 36.4 to 44.2% of the students were able to correctly identify the food sources of DF.
PMCID: PMC3905644  PMID: 24592591
Dietary fibre; Questionnaire; Reliability; Validity; Turkey
11.  Breastfeeding Twins: A Qualitative Study 
The purpose of this qualitative research was to explore the needs and difficulties of mothers who had multiple babies at Sakarya County by focusing on their breastfeeding experience. Ten mothers who gave birth to multiple infants participated in the study voluntarily. The framework method of data analysis was applied systematically both within and across cases, with categories and themes identified by reading transcripts of interviews. Major themes generated from focus narrative interviews are described. These themes are: willingness of mothers to breastfeed and continue, management of breastfeeding, use of pacifier, daily life, ınstructions of healthcare personnel, and advices from practice of experienced mothers. This study showed that women were aware of the importance of mother's milk for their babies. They all, somehow, made intensive efforts to breastfeed their twins. Women who expect and/or have multiple babies need much more support and guidance, which may include advice for nutritional and daily care.
PMCID: PMC3905645  PMID: 24592592
Breastfeeding; Mothers’ experiences; Multiple babies; Qualitative study; Turkeyitative Study
12.  Access and Barriers to Immunization in West Bengal, India: Quality Matters 
While many studies attempted to evaluate performance of immunization programmes in developing countries by full coverage, there is a growing awareness about the limitations of such evaluation, irrespective of the overall quality of performance. Availability of human resources, equipment, supporting drugs, and training of personnel are considered to be crucial indicators of the quality of immunization programme. Also, maintenance of time schedule has been considered crucial in the context of the quality of immunization. In addition to overall coverage of vaccination, the coverage of immunization given at right time (month-specific) is to be considered with utmost importance. In this paper, District Level Household and Facility Survey-3 (DLHS-3) 2007-2008 data have been used in exploring the quality of immunization in terms of month-specific vaccine coverage and barriers to access inWest Bengal, India. In West Bengal, the month-specific coverage stands badly below 20% but the simple non-month-specific coverage is as high as 75%. Among the demand-side factors, birthplace of the child and religion of the household heads came out as significant predictors while, from the supply-side, availability of male health workers and equipment at the subcentres, were the important determinants for month-specific vaccine coverage. Hence, there should be a vigorous attempt to make more focused planning, keeping in mind the nature of the barriers, for improvement of the month-specific coverage in West Bengal.
PMCID: PMC3905646  PMID: 24592593
Access; Barriers; Immunization; Quality; Indiay Matters
13.  Estimation of Gestational Age, Using Neonatal Anthropometry: A Cross-sectional Study in India 
Prematurity is a significant contributor to neonatal mortality in India. Conventionally, assessment of gestational age of newborns is based on New Ballard Technique, for which a paediatric specialist is needed. Anthropometry of the newborn, especially birthweight, has been used in the past to predict the gestational age of the neonate in peripheral health facilities where a trained paediatrician is often not available. We aimed to determine if neonatal anthropometric parameters, viz. birthweight, crown heel-length, head-circumference, mid-upper arm-circumference, lower segment-length, foot-length, umbilical nipple distance, calf-circumference, intermammary distance, and hand-length, can reliably predict the gestational age. The study also aimed to derive an equation for the same. We also assessed if these neonatal anthropometric parameters had a better prediction of gestational age when used in combination compared to individual parameters. We evaluated 1,000 newborns in a cross-sectional study conducted in Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital in Delhi. Detailed anthropometric estimation of the neonates was done within 48 hours after birth, using standard techniques. Gestational age was estimated using New Ballard Scoring. Out of 1,250 consecutive neonates, 1,000 were included in the study. Of them, 800 randomly-selected newborns were used in devising the model, and the remaining 200 newborns were used in validating the final model. Quadratic regression analysis using stepwise selection was used in building the predictive model. Birthweight (R=0.72), head-circumference (R=0.60), and mid-upper arm-circumference (R=0.67) were found highly correlated with gestation. The final equation to assess gestational age was as follows: Gestational age (weeks)=5.437×W–0.781×W2+2.815×HC–0.041×HC2+0.285×MUAC–22.745 where W=Weight, HC=Head-circumference and MUAC=Mid-upper arm-circumference; Adjusted R=0.76. On validation, the predictability of this equation is 46% (±1 week), 75.5% (+2 weeks), and 91.5% (+3 weeks). This mathematical model may be used in identifying preterm neonates.
PMCID: PMC3905647  PMID: 24592594
Anthropometry; Equation; Gestational age; New Ballard Score; Newborn; Indias
14.  Nutritional Disparities among Women in Urban India 
The paper presents a wealth quartile analysis of the urban subset of the third round of Demographic Health Survey of India to unmask intra-urban nutrition disparities in women. Maternal thinness and moderate/severe anaemia among women of the poorest urban quartile was 38.5% and 20% respectively and 1.5-1.8 times higher than the rest of urban population. Receipt of pre- and postnatal nutrition and health education and compliance to iron folic acid tablets during pregnancy was low across all quartiles. One-fourth (24.5%) of households in the lowest urban quartile consumed salt with no iodine content, which was 2.8 times higher than rest of the urban population (8.7%). The study highlights the need to use poor-specific urban data for planning and suggests (i) routine field assessment of maternal nutritional status in outreach programmes, (ii) improving access to food subsidies, subsidized adequately-iodized salt and food supplementation programmes, (iii) identifying alternative iron supplementation methods, and (iv) institutionalizing counselling days.
PMCID: PMC3905648  PMID: 24592595
Sl Anthropometry; Equation; Gestational age; New Ballard Score; Newborn; India
15.  Recurrent Sclerema in a Young Infant Presenting with Severe Sepsis and Severe Pneumonia: An Uncommon but Extremely Life-threatening Condition 
A one month and twenty-five days old baby girl with problems of acute watery diarrhoea, severe dehydration, severe malnutrition, and reduced activity was admitted to the gastrointestinal unit of Dhaka Hospital of icddr,b. The differentials included dehydration, dyselectrolytaemia and severe sepsis. She was treated following the protocolized management guidelines of the hospital. However, within the next 24 hours, the patient deteriorated with additional problems of severe sepsis, severe pneumonia, hypoxaemia, ileus, and sclerema. She was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). In the ICU, she was managed with oxygen supplementation, intravenous antibiotics, intravenous fluid, including a number of blood transfusions, vitamins, minerals, and diet. One month prior to this admission, she had been admitted to the ICU also with sclerema, septic shock, and urinary tract infection due to Escherichia coli and was discharged after full recovery. On both the occasions, she required repeated blood transfusions and aggressive antibiotic therapy in addition to appropriate fluid therapy and oxygen supplementation. She fully recovered from severe sepsis, severe malnutrition, ileus, sclerema, and pneumonia, both clinically and radiologically and was discharged two weeks after admission. Consecutive episodes of sclerema, resulting in two successive hospitalizations in a severely-malnourished young septic infant, have never been reported. However, this was managed successfully with blood transfusion, broad-spectrum antibiotics, and correction of electrolyte imbalance.
PMCID: PMC3905649  PMID: 24592596
Blood transfusion; Malnutrition; Sclerema; Severe sepsis; Bangladesh
16.  Fever of Unknown Origin Attributable to Haematocolpos Infected with Salmonella enterica Serotype Typhi Resistant to Nalidixic Acid: A Case Report 
The prevalence of nalidixic acid-resistant Salmonella Typhi (NARST) infection is increasing worldwide. We are reporting an unusual case of infected haematocolpos presenting as urinary obstruction in a patient with fever of unknown origin (FUO). This case report highlights the importance of quinolone-resistant typhoid fever in the differential diagnosis of any acute febrile illness in countries, like India, where Salmonella infection is endemic.
PMCID: PMC3805891  PMID: 24288955
Fever of unknown origin; Haematocolpos; NARST; India
17.  Enteric Pathogens and Reactive Arthritis: A Systematic Review of Campylobacter, Salmonella and Shigella-associated Reactive Arthritis 
Reactive arthritis (ReA) is a spondyloarthropathic disorder characterized by inflammation of the joints and tissues occurring after gastrointestinal or genitourinary infections. Diagnostic criteria for ReA do not exist and, therefore, it is subject to clinical opinion resulting in cases with a wide range of symptoms and definitions. Using standardized diagnostic criteria, we conducted a systematic literature review to establish the global incidence of ReA for each of the three most commonly-associated enteric pathogens : Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Shigella. The weighted mean incidence of reactive arthritis was 9, 12, and 12 cases per 1,000 cases of Campylobacter, Salmonella and Shigella infections respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic review of worldwide data that use well-defined criteria to characterize diarrhoea-associated ReA. This information will aid in determining the burden of disease and act as a planning tool for public-health programmes.
PMCID: PMC3805878  PMID: 24288942
Campylobacter; Enteric infections; Incidence; Reactive arthritis; Salmonella; Shigella
18.  Pulmonary Tuberculosis in Severely-malnourished or HIV-infected Children with Pneumonia: A Review 
Presentation of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) as acute pneumonia in severely-malnourished and HIV-positive children has received very little attention, although this is very important in the management of pneumonia in children living in communities where TB is highly endemic. Our aim was to identify confirmed TB in children with acute pneumonia and HIV infection and/or severe acute malnutrition (SAM) (weight-for-length/height or weight-for-age z score <-3 of the WHO median, or presence of nutritional oedema). We conducted a literature search, using PubMed and Web of Science in April 2013 for the period from January 1974 through April 2013. We included only those studies that reported confirmed TB identified by acid fast bacilli (AFB) through smear microscopy, or by culture-positive specimens from children with acute pneumonia and SAM and/or HIV infection. The specimens were collected either from induced sputum (IS), or gastric lavage (GL), or broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL), or percutaneous lung aspirates (LA). Pneumonia was defined as the radiological evidence of lobar or patchy consolidation and/or clinical evidence of severe/very severe pneumonia according to the WHO criteria of acute respiratory infection. A total of 17 studies met our search criteria but 6 were relevant for our review. Eleven studies were excluded as those did not assess the HIV status of the children or specify the nutritional status of the children with acute pneumonia and TB. We identified only 747 under-five children from the six relevant studies that determined a tubercular aetiology of acute pneumonia in children with SAM and/or positive HIV status. Three studies were reported from South Africa and one each from the Gambia, Ethiopia, and Thailand where 610, 90, 35, and 12 children were enrolled and 64 (10%), 23 (26%), 5 (14%), and 1 (8%) children were identified with active TB respectively, with a total of 93 (12%) children with active TB. Among 610 HIV-infected children in three studies from South Africa and 137 SAM children from other studies, 64 (10%) and 29 (21%) isolates of M. tuberculosis were identified respectively. Children from South Africa were infected with HIV without specification of their nutritional status whereas children from other countries had SAM but without indication of their HIV status. Our review of the existing data suggests that pulmonary tuberculosis may be more common than it is generally suspected in children with acute pneumonia and SAM, or HIV infection. Because of the scarcity of data, there is an urgent need to investigate PTB as one of the potential aetiologies of acute pneumonia in these children in a carefully-conducted larger study, especially outside Africa.
PMCID: PMC3805879  PMID: 24288943
Acute pneumonia; Children; HIV; Severe malnutrition; Tuberculosis
19.  Distribution of Vibrio species in Shellfish and Water Samples Collected from the Atlantic Coastline of South-East Nigeria 
Crayfish, lobster, and sea-water samples collected from five fishing islands on the Atlantic coast–Bight of Biafra (Bonny)–belonging to Ibaka Local Government Area of Akwa-Ibom State of Nigeria were bacteriologically evaluated on thiosulphate citrate bile-salt sucrose (TCBS) agar for Vibrio load and pathotypes. Mean log10 Vibrio counts of 7.64±2.78 cfu/g (in crayfish), 5.07±3.21 cfu/g (in lobster), and 3.06±2.27 cfu/mL (in sea-water) were obtained in rainy season (June-July) while counts in the dry season (November-December) were 6.25±1.93 cfu/g, 5.99±1.54 cfu/g, and 3.84±1.78 cfu/mL respectively. The physicochemical measurements (temperature, pH, and total dissolved solutes) of the sea-water did not vary significantly in the two seasons across all five islands. Vibrio species isolated were Vibrio cholerae (both O1 and non-O1 serotypes), V. parahaemolyticus, V. vulnificus, V. mimicus, and V. fluvialis. Both Ogawa and Inaba subtypes of V. cholerae O1 serotype were found. In addition, the Hikojima subtype, which had not been previously reported in the region, was isolated in two samples. The results show that these Vibrio species are endemic in the area.
PMCID: PMC3805880  PMID: 24288944
Atlantic coastline; Cholera; Vibrio; Hikojima; Sea-water; Shellfish; Nigeria
20.  Caretakers’ Perception towards Using Zinc to Treat Childhood Diarrhoea in Rural Western Kenya 
Zinc treatment for diarrhoea can shorten the course and prevent future episodes among children worldwide. However, knowledge and acceptability of zinc among African mothers is unknown. We identified children aged 3 to 59 months, who had diarrhoea within the last three months and participated in a home-based zinc treatment study in rural Kenya. Caretakers of these children were enrolled in two groups; zinc-users and non-users. A structured questionnaire was administered to all caretakers, inquiring about knowledge and appropriate use of zinc. Questions on how much the caretakers were willing to pay for zinc were asked. Proportions were compared using Mantel-Haenszel test, and medians were compared using Wilcoxon Rank Sum test. Among 109 enrolled caretakers, 73 (67%) used zinc, and 36 (33%) did not. Sixty-four (88%) caretakers in zinc-user group reported satisfaction with zinc treatment. Caretakers in the zinc-user group more often correctly identified appropriate zinc treatment (98%-100%) than did those in the non-user group (64−72%, p<0.001). Caretakers in the zinc-user group answered more questions about zinc correctly or favourably (median 10 of 11) compared to those in the non-user group (median 6.3 of 11, p<0.001). Caretakers in the zinc-user group were willing to pay more for a course of zinc in the future than those in the non-user group (median US$ 0.26, p<0.001). Caretakers of children given zinc recently had favourable impressions on the therapy and were willing to pay for it in the future. Active promotion of zinc treatment in clinics and communities in Africa could lead to greater knowledge, acceptance, and demand for zinc.
PMCID: PMC3805881  PMID: 24288945
Acceptability; Community treatment; Diarrhoeal disease; Zinc; Kenya
21.  Eating Habits and Body-weights of Students of the University of Belgrade, Serbia: A Cross-sectional Study 
The purpose of this survey was to quantify the prevalence of overweight and obesity among a sample of students in Belgrade University, Serbia and to describe their main eating habits. A total of 1,624 questionnaire responses were analyzed (response rate 97.3%). The students were recruited during mandatory annual check-ups in April-June 2009. All subjects completed the questionnaire; height (in cm) and weight (in km) were measured by two physicians. Results were assessed statistically. Almost every fourth male student was overweight. Strikingly, 15% of female students were underweight. Highly-significant difference was found between average body mass index (BMI) of male and female students (F=317.8, p=0.001). Students’ BMI did not correlate with average family income or with the frequency of taking breakfast (p=-0.064, p=0.152 for males and ρ=0.034, p=0.282 for females respectively). There is a growing demand for global health strategies which would encourage healthy body-image and figure; thus, these initiatives should mobilize the society on a national and international level.
PMCID: PMC3805882  PMID: 24288946
Nutritional status; Prevalence; Students; Serbia
22.  TV Viewing, Independent of Physical Activity and Obesogenic Foods, Increases Overweight and Obesity in Adolescents 
The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity (OAO) and associated risk factors in a representative sample of students aged 11-20 years in Urmia, Iran. In this population-based cross-sectional study, a multistage random cluster-sampling method was used, through which 2,498 students were selected. OAO were defined based on criteria set by the US Center for Health Statistics in collaboration with the US Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). OAO risk factors were assessed using a questionnaire containing questions about TV viewing, nutrition, physical activities (PA), social and economic factors. Contents of the questionnaire were validated by calculating the content validity ratio (CVR) and content validity index (CVI), based on the responses elicited from 15 experts. Reliability of the questionnaire was obtained from a test and re-test of the questionnaire completed by 15 students. To analyze the data, χ2-test, t-test, and multiple logistic regression analysis were conducted. The prevalence of OAO was found to be 14.1% among the 11-20 years old students of junior and senior high schools. The results of multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that the educational level of mothers, type of school, and the time spent on viewing TV were associated with an increased risk of OAO while obesogenic foods and PA had no effect on the frequency of OAO [Odds ratio (OR) for the time spent on watching TV one hour more than usual equals 1.27 at p=0.001]. The direct correlation between TV viewing and OAO, which is independent of PA and obesogenic foods, needs to be carefully investigated through randomized clinical trials and cohort studies.
PMCID: PMC3805883  PMID: 24288947
Adolescents; Obesity; Overweight; TV viewing; Iran
23.  Protective Effect of Fish Oil Supplementation on DNA Damage Induced by Cigarette Smoking 
The study examined the influence of fish oil (FO) supplementation on serum 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) levels as indicated by DNA damage markers and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) among male cigarette smokers. This double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized study was conducted among healthy cigarette smokers (n=40) who were part of a larger prospective cohort study. Twenty smokers were randomly selected to receive FO for 3 months (1 g/day), and another 20 smokers received a placebo for 3 months; 8-OHdG and TAC levels were measured in blood samples before and after the intervention. Serum 8-OHdG significantly decreased (p=0.001) and TAC increased (p<0.001) after 3 months of treatment with FO. Between baseline and endline, the difference in 8-OHdG significantly correlated with the difference in TAC among smokers who received FO (r=-0.540, p=0.014). The study provides evidence that FO supplementation can modify decreased antioxidants and increased oxidative DNA damage in cigarette smokers.
PMCID: PMC3805884  PMID: 24288948
8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine; Antioxidants; Cigarette smoking; Fish oil
24.  Malnutrition among 3 to 5 Years Old Children in Baghdad City, Iraq: A Cross-sectional Study 
The unstable geopolitical situation in Iraq since 2003 still affects the health of people, especially children. Several factors may indirectly affect a child's nutritional status. The main aim of this study was to identify factors contributing to malnutrition among 3 to 5 years old children in Baghdad city, Iraq. Two hundred twenty children aged 3 to 5 years were chosen randomly from four kindergartens in Baghdad city according to the cross-sectional design. The nutritional status of the children was assessed using a weight-for-age z-score based on the World Health Organization 2007 cutoff points, in which any child with a z-score of <-2 is considered to be malnourished. The overall prevalence rate of underweight children was 18.2%. There was no significant difference in the prevalence rate between males and females (p=0.797). However, the percentage of underweight children was slightly higher among females (18.9%) compared to males (17.6%). There was no association between parents’ educational level or employment status and childhood malnutrition. There was no association between a family's movement from their house and childhood malnutrition (p=0.322). Living in an unsafe neighbourhood and having a family member killed during the past five years were significantly associated with childhood malnutrition (p=0.016 and 0.018 respectively). Childhood malnutrition is still a public-health concern in Baghdad city, especially after the war of 2003. Malnutrition is significantly associated with living in unsafe neighbourhoods and at least one family member having been killed during the past five years.
PMCID: PMC3805885  PMID: 24288949
Children; Insecure living environment; Underweight; Iraq
25.  Food Insecurity and Its Sociodemographic Correlates among Afghan Immigrants in Iran 
The study determined the prevalence of food insecurity and its sociodemographic determinants among Afghan immigrants in two major cities of Iran. This cross-sectional study was conducted on a sample of 310 adult females from immigrant Afghan households in Tehran (n=155) and Mashhad (n=155), who were recruited through multistage sampling. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews, using a questionnaire. Food security was measured by a locally-adapted Household Food Insecurity Access Scale. More than 60% suffered from moderate-to-severe food insecurity, 37% were mildly food-insecure while about 23% were food-secure. Food insecurity was significantly more prevalent in female-headed households, households whose head and spouse had lower level of education, belonged to the Sunni sect, and those with illegal residential status, unemployment/low job status, not owning their house, low socioeconomic status (SES), and living in Mashhad. Prevalence of food insecurity was relatively high among Afghan immigrants in Iran. This calls for the need to develop community food security strategies for ensuring their short- and long-term health.
PMCID: PMC3805886  PMID: 24288950
Afghan; Immigrants; Food insecurity; Sociodemographic determinants; Iran

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