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Growth patterns of Palestinian children from birth to 24 months


Albelbeisi, Ali and Mohd Shariff, Zalilah and Chan, Yoke Mun and Abdul Rahman, Hejar and Abed, Yehia (2018) Growth patterns of Palestinian children from birth to 24 months. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, 24 (3). 302 - 310. ISSN 1020-3397; ESSN: 1687-1634


Background: Growth faltering in early life can adversely affect health in later childhood and adulthood. Growth monitoring of children can provide evidence to help formulate effective strategies to address growth problems but such information on Palestinian children is lacking. Objectives: This study aimed to determine the growth patterns of children under 2 years in Gaza, Palestine. Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted in 2014 in 10 randomly selected primary health care clinics in 5 governorates of Gaza. Weight and length data were obtained from the health cards of children born in 2012, and z-scores were calculated and compared with the WHO Growth Standard (2006). Results: A total of 2 632 children’s cards were included at the beginning of the study. Weight-for-age and weight-for-length decreased from birth to 6 months to about –0.40 SD but increased afterwards to –0.11 SD and 0.34 SD at 24 months respectively. Length-for-age declined after 6 months, reaching –0.85 SD at 24 months. At 6 months, the prevalence of underweight and stunting were 5% and 9% but at 24 months, the prevalence was 4% and 20% respectively. Wasting was highest at 6 months (10%) but decreased to 3% at 24 months. Significantly more girls were stunted at 9, 12 and 18 months (P < 0.001), underweight at 24 months (P < 0.05) and wasted at 12 months (P < 0.05). Early life faltering in length was more pronounced than weight, with stunting occurring in one fifth of boys and girls by 2 years of age. Conclusions: Preventive strategies are urgently needed to address early life causes of undernutrition, particularly stunting, in Palestinian children in Gaza.

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Additional Metadata

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Science
DOI Number: https://doi.org/10.26719/2018.24.3.302
Publisher: World Health Organization
Keywords: Young children; Growth faltering; Underweight; Stunting; Wasting
Depositing User: Mr. Sazali Mohamad
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2019 04:09
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2019 04:09
Altmetrics: http://www.altmetric.com/details.php?domain=psasir.upm.edu.my&doi=10.26719/2018.24.3.302
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/74472
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