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Jornal de Pediatria

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


SARNI, Roseli O. S. et al. Anthropometric evaluation, risk factors for malnutrition, and nutritional therapy for children in teaching hospitals in Brazil. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2009, vol.85, n.3, pp.223-228. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate risk factors for malnutrition, nutritional status and nutritional support provided in hospitalized children. METHODS: This longitudinal study prospectively followed, for 3 consecutive months, all children under 5 years of age (n = 907) hospitalized in general pediatric medical wards of 10 Brazilian university-based hospitals. For data collection, a standard questionnaire was used and nutritional condition was evaluated at hospital admission and discharge: weight-for-height, weight-for-age and height-for-age z score. RESULTS: Only 56.7% of the children had their nutritional classification documented in the medical record. At hospital admission, 16.3 and 30.0% of the children had moderate/severe malnutrition and low stature, respectively. Risk of malnutrition was associated with low birth weight and younger age. A high percentage of nutritional deficiencies was observed in the children analyzed, although child's nutritional condition and the adoption of appropriate nutritional therapy were not documented in the medical records of the malnourished children. CONCLUSION: These data underscore the importance of developing qualified hospital medical wards regarding diagnosis and therapeutic approach to malnutrition, based on the conduct guidelines already available in Brazil.

Keywords : Protein-energy malnutrition; hospitalized children and nutritional therapy.

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