African Health Sciences

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Malnutrition and medical nutrition therapy in hospitalized children: a case study of using national malnutrition screening tools in northeastern Iran

Abbas Malek, Maryam Hashemi, Mehran Anjomrooz, Parisa Torabi, Bahareh Imani


Background: Nationwide studies have focused only on prevalence of malnutrition in hospitalized children, while medical nu- trition therapies and assessing nutritional interventions is neglected.

Methods: This research was conducted in tertiary level children hospitals in the NorthEastern region of Iran for 1 year from 2016 to 2017. Five questions were included in the initial assessment form and, if there was even one positive response, nutrition- al interventions were prescribed for the patients.

Results: A total of 65 children aged ≥ 5 years and hospitalized for ≥ two days were included. 24.6% of patients had 2 >BMI Z-score>-2 at time of admission. At the beginning of the study, weight loss more than 10%, and appetite loss or decreased food intake was observed in 10.8% and 20% of the study population, respectively. Median BMI percentile of patients with nutritional intervention was 8.9 (0.1-98.7) at the beginning of the study and 12.7 (0.1-98.4) at discharge time which shows a significant difference (P=0.01).

Conclusion: Medical nutrition therapy employed in this study prevented deterioration of nutritional status of children during hospitalization and was effective in stabilizing indices of nutritional status.

Keywords: Body mass index, hospitalized children, malnutrition.
AJOL African Journals Online