Linear growth retardation in Zanzibari school children

Rebecca J. Stoltzfus, Marco Albonico, James M. Tielsch, Hababu M. Chwaya, Lorenzo Savioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper describes the longitudinal changes in height and weight of children in school grades 1-3 on Pemba Island, Zanzibar, a poor rural population in which parasitic infections and anemia are highly prevalent. Heights and weights of children were measured at base line, and 6 and 12 mo later, and were compared with U.S. reference data. At base line, the prevalence of height-for-age z-score <-2 rose from 14% in 7-y-old children to 83% in 13-y-old children. Prevalence of weight-for-age Z-score <-2 in children <10 y was ~10% or less. Median 6-mo height increments for Pembian boys were around the 5th percentile at age 8 and around the 10th percentile from age 9 to 13 y. Height increments for girls improved from below the 25th percentile to above the median in this age range. Based on the longitudinal yearly gains observed, boys accumulate a height deficit of 11.9 cm and girls 8.5 cm, relative to the reference population. In multivariate analyses, a small part of the variability in growth increments was explained by ascariasis and anemia (for weight gain) and schistosomiasis (for height gain). A review of other growth data from rural African Bantu populations provides supporting evidence that stunting occurs in older as well as younger children. It has been controversial whether school-based health and nutrition interventions could induce catch-up growth in already stunted children. Our results suggest that appropriate interventions might actually prevent stunting in late childhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1099-1105
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume127
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997

Fingerprint

school children
growth retardation
Growth
Growth Disorders
Weights and Measures
anemia
Anemia
Indian Ocean Islands
ascariasis
Ascariasis
Zanzibar
schistosomiasis
Parasitic Diseases
School Health Services
Tanzania
nutritional intervention
rural population
compensatory growth
Schistosomiasis
Rural Population

Keywords

  • Africa
  • growth
  • school children
  • stunting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science

Cite this

Stoltzfus, R. J., Albonico, M., Tielsch, J. M., Chwaya, H. M., & Savioli, L. (1997). Linear growth retardation in Zanzibari school children. Journal of Nutrition, 127(6), 1099-1105.

Linear growth retardation in Zanzibari school children. / Stoltzfus, Rebecca J.; Albonico, Marco; Tielsch, James M.; Chwaya, Hababu M.; Savioli, Lorenzo.

In: Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 127, No. 6, 1997, p. 1099-1105.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Stoltzfus, RJ, Albonico, M, Tielsch, JM, Chwaya, HM & Savioli, L 1997, 'Linear growth retardation in Zanzibari school children', Journal of Nutrition, vol. 127, no. 6, pp. 1099-1105.
Stoltzfus RJ, Albonico M, Tielsch JM, Chwaya HM, Savioli L. Linear growth retardation in Zanzibari school children. Journal of Nutrition. 1997;127(6):1099-1105.
Stoltzfus, Rebecca J. ; Albonico, Marco ; Tielsch, James M. ; Chwaya, Hababu M. ; Savioli, Lorenzo. / Linear growth retardation in Zanzibari school children. In: Journal of Nutrition. 1997 ; Vol. 127, No. 6. pp. 1099-1105.
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