The complex relationship between malnutrition and malaria affects morbidity and mortality in children younger than 5 years, particularly in parts of sub-Saharan Africa where these conditions occur together seasonally. Previous research on this relationship has been inconclusive. Here, we examine the association between anthropometric indicators and malaria infection in a population-based sample of children younger than 5 years in Niger. This cross-sectional study is a secondary analysis of a cluster-randomized trial comparing treatment strategies for trachoma in Niger. We included children aged 6-60 months residing in the 48 communities enrolled in the trial who completed anthropo-metric and malaria infection assessments at the final study visit. We evaluated the association between anthropometric indicators, including height-for-age z-score (HAZ) and weight-for-age z-score (WAZ) and indicators of malaria infection, including malaria parasitemia and clinical malaria. In May 2013, we collected data from 1, 649 children. Of these, 780 (47.3%) were positive for malaria parasitemia and 401 (24.3%) had clinical malaria. In models of malaria parasitemia, the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) was 1.05 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.00-1.10) for HAZ and 1.07 (95% CI: 0.99, 1.15) for WAZ. In models of clinical malaria, the a OR was 1.07 (95% CI: 1.02-1.11) for HAZ and 1.09 (95% CI: 1.01-1.19) for WAZ. Overall, wedid notfind evidence of an association between most anthropometric indicators and malaria infection. Greater height may be associated with an increased risk of clinical malaria.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases