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Ardeshir Khosravi 1 Article
Socioeconomic Inequality in Malnutrition in Under-5 Children in Iran: Evidence From the Multiple Indicator Demographic and Health Survey, 2010
Abdollah Almasian Kia, Aziz Rezapour, Ardeshir Khosravi, Vajiheh Afzali Abarghouei
J Prev Med Public Health. 2017;50(3):201-209.   Published online May 10, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.17.028
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The aim of this study was to assess the socioeconomic inequality in malnutrition in under-5 children in Iran in order to help policymakers reduce such inequality.
Methods
Data on 8443 under-5 children were extracted from the Iran Multiple Indicator Demographic and Health Survey. The wealth index was used as proxy for socioeconomic status. Socioeconomic inequality in stunting, underweight, and wasting was calculated using the concentration index. The concentration index was calculated for the whole sample, as well as for subcategories defined in terms of categories such as area of residence (urban and rural) and the sex of children.
Results
Stunting was observed to be more prevalent than underweight or wasting. The results of the concentration index at the national level, as well as in rural and urban areas and in terms of children’s sex, showed that inequality in stunting and underweight was statistically significant and that children in the lower quintiles were more malnourished. The wasting index was not sensitive to socioeconomic status, and its concentration index value was not statistically significant.
Conclusions
This study showed that it can be misleading to assess the mean levels of malnutrition at the national level without knowledge of the distribution of malnutrition among socioeconomic groups. Significant socioeconomic inequalities in stunting and underweight were observed at the national level and in both urban and rural areas. Regarding the influence of nutrition on the health and economic well-being of preschool-aged children, it is necessary for the government to focus on taking targeted measures to reduce malnutrition and to focus on poorer groups within society who bear a greater burden of malnutrition.
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Citations

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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health