CONSANGUINITY AMONG THE RISK FACTORS FOR UNDERWEIGHT IN CHILDREN UNDER FIVE: A STUDY FROM RURAL SINDH

SF Hasnain, SK Hashmi

Abstract


Background: Malnutrition is a common problem, especially in developing countries. Of the 11 million
children under 5 who die each year in the developing countries mainly from preventable causes, the
death of about 54% are either directly or indirectly attributable to malnutrition. The objectives of this
study were to assess the prevalence and associated factors for underweight in rural Sindh. Methods: A
cross-sectional survey was conducted in Jhangara Town, located in District Dadu, Sindh. Eight hundred
children under 5 years of age were enrolled. A questionnaire was used to elicit required information and
anthropometric measurements were made. Results: The overall prevalence for underweight was 54.3%
in the study population, which was higher than the prevalence reported by PDHS 1990–91. In
multivariate analysis, various factors for underweight were consanguinity (OR=1.5, 95% CI=1.08–
2.07), low birth weight (parents’ perspective) (OR=1.6, 95% CI=1.08–2.16) and lack of breast-feeding
(OR=2.7, 95% CI=1.19–6.17). Conclusion: Effective strategies to discourage consanguineous
marriages between first cousins are required. Promoting breast feeding is another factor that should be
incorporated while designing control strategies to reduce morbidity and mortality due to malnutrition in
children (<5 years).
Keywords: Underweight, Consanguinity, Children, under 5 years

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