Comparison of some anthropometric and biologic parameters in two groups of Tunisian infants (0 to 2 years)
Malnutrition still remains a preoccupying health problem that affects the most vulnerable age group (less than five years). The aim of this research is to establish the nutritional profile of the Tunisian infants less than 2 years, to specify the principal deficiencies and the possible origins of these deficiencies. In our transverse exploratory study carried out in a period of 12 months, two groups of infants less than 2 year old; a control group (n = 18) and a malnourished group (n = 18) were used. Our data consolidate the impact of pregnant women’s nutritional state, breastfeeding on the infant and the infant growth. In comparison with the control group, the malnourished group showed a significant reduction in weight/age, weight/height (p < 0.001), a significant reduction of the average values of cholesterol associated with high density lipoproteins (Chol-HDL) and the ratio of cholesterol associated with high density lipoproteins to cholesterol associated with low density lipoproteins (Chol-HDL / Chol- LDL). This shrinkage showed a positive correlation with the weight/height ratio which is an indicator of malnutrition gravity. The results of this study confirmed the existence of a remarkable change of the biological profile among malnourished infants. In addition, the study shows the necessity to target and develop means to fight against factors favoring malnutrition.
Key words: Malnutrition, infants, breastfeeding, protein, lipoprotein.