Determinants of Persistent Underweight Among Children, Aged 6-35 Months, After Huge Economic Development and Improvements in Health Services in Oman|
Alasfoor, Deena; Traissac, Pierre; Gartner, Agnès & Delpeuch, Francis
Over the last decades, health indicators have witnessed major improvements in the Sultanate of Oman. This study was aimed at factors associated with underweight among children in four regions of Oman, as, in 1998, underweight was prevalent among 17.9% of children aged less than five years. A case-control study was conducted in 2002: 190 cases were 6-35-month old children with weight-for-age <-2 z-scores. Controls were individually matched by village of residence, sex, and age. The questionnaire included anthropometry of children, child-feeding practices, morbidity, anthropometry of mothers, parity, birth-spacing, and socioeconomic characteristics. Conditional logistic regression was used for analyses. Birth-weight of <2,500 g was strongly associated with underweight and also were height of mother, low level of education of mother, bad quality of water in households, diarrhoea of children in the last two weeks, and regular use of infant formula. Factors, such as birth-weight, height of mother, supply of safe water in household, and care for mothers and children were the determinants of persistent underweight after huge economic development and improvements in health services. Further research is also needed to investigate further specific determinants of low birth-weight in the Omani context and try to disentangle emaciation and determinants of linear growth retardation.
Birth-weight; Case-control studies; Childcare; Child nutrition disorders; Underweight; Oman