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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


GUARDIOLA, Ana; EGEWARTH, Cristiane  and  ROTTA, Newra T.. Evaluation of neuropsychomotor development in first grade children and its relation to nutrition. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2001, vol.77, n.3, pp.189-196. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: to investigate the neurological performance of elementary school students from the city of Porto Alegre, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, in order to assess the association of neurological development and nutritional status. METHODS: we carried out an observational, analytical, and crosssectional study on a random and proportional population sample selected out of all first-grade students (n=35,521) in the city of Porto Alegre for a total of 484 children, out of which 64.7% were enrolled in state public schools, 11.9% in city public schools, and 23.4% in private schools. Our sample size allowed for a precision of ± 3% (95% confidence interval) for an estimated prevalence of 10% of cortical dysfunction. Children were submitted to individual examinations at the school. We collected data regarding sex, age, color of skin, nutritional status, and school of origin. An informed consent was obtained from the State and City Departments of Education and from the principals of the private schools. Statistical analysis was carried out using the chi-square test and ANOVA.. RESULTS: from 11.4% to 38.2% of children presented ENE results lower than expected according to their age. The most affected factors were sensory activity and gnosia (38.2%), and the least affected factor was motor persistence (11.4%). There were no statistically significant differences between boys and girls. We observed an association of children with low height-for-age and weight-for-age and cortical dysfunction. CONCLUSION: chronic malnutrition is a risk factor for brain function performance.

Keywords : neurological examination; brain functions; malnutrition.

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