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Original Article Nutritional Status and the Characteristics Related to Malnutrition in Children Under Five Years of Age in Nghean, Vietnam.
Nguyen Ngoc Hien, Sin Kam
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2008;41(4):232-240
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Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.

This study was conducted to assess the nutritional status and characteristics related to malnutrition in children less than five years of age in Nghean, Vietnam. METHODS: In this study, which was conducted in November 2007, 650 child-mother pairs were selected using a two-stage cluster sampling methodology. A structured questionnaire was then administered to the mothers in their home settings. Anthropometric measurement was then used to determine if children were underweight (weight-for-age), wasting (weight-for-height) and stunting (height-for-age) based on reference data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)/World Health Organization (WHO). Logistic regression analysis was then used to describe the hierarchical relationships between potential risk factors and malnutrition. RESULTS: The mean Z-scores for weight-for-age, heightfor-age and weight-for-height were -1.46 (95% CI=-1.57, -1.35), -1.44 (95% CI=-1.56, -1.32) and -0.71 (95% CI=-0.82, -0.60), respectively. Of the children included in this study, 193 (31.8%) were underweight, 269 (44.3%) were stunting and 72 (11.9%) were wasting. Region of residence, the mother's level of education and occupation, household size, number of children in the family, weight at birth and duration of exclusive breastfeeding were found to be significantly related to malnutrition. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study indicate that malnutrition is still an important problem among children less than five years of age in Nghean, Vietnam. In addition, maternal, socio-economic and environment factors were found to be significant factors for malnutrition among children under five.

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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health