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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 142-146

Pattern of head growth and nutritional status of microcephalic infants at early postnatal assessment in a low-income country


Department of Community Health and Primary Care, Maternal and Child Health Unit, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
B O Olusanya
Centre Director, Healthy Start Initiative, Ikoyi, Lagos
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.97288

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Objective: To determine the pattern of head growth and the early postnatal nutritional status of microcephalic infants in a low-income country. Materials and Methods: A cohort study in Lagos, Nigeria in which the head growth of full-term singletons within the first postnatal check-up at 6-8 weeks was evaluated using the latest World Health Organization (WHO)'s Child Growth Standards (WHO-CGS) for head circumference. Nutritional status of microcephalic infants at follow-up was also determined after adjustments for potential confounders. Results: Of the 452 infants (male: 227) enrolled, microcephalic infants were 32 (7.1%) at birth and 34 (7.5%) at follow-up. However, while 401 (88.7%) remained normocephalic and 15 (3.3%) remained microcephalic at follow-up, 19 (4.2%) became microcephalic and 17 (3.8%) became normocephalic. Microcephalic infants were significantly underweight (P < 0.001), stunted (P < 0.001) and wasted (P < 0.001) at follow-up. Conclusions: Regardless of their status at birth, microcephalic infants at 6-8weeks are likely to be undernourished by all nutritional indices suggesting that head circumference may serve as a complementary or default screening tool for early detection of undernourished infants in resource-constrained settings.


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