ResearchPad - malnutrition https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Towards universal coverage for nutrition services in children under five years—A descriptive analysis of the capacity of level one hospitals to provide nutrition services in five provinces of Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7846 Malnutrition continues to be a major public health challenge in Zambia. To effectively address this, health systems must be well strengthened to deliver an effective continuum of care. This paper examines health systems issues and services in relation to nutritional support to children under five years, in order to identify gaps and propose interventions towards universal coverage of essential nutrition services.MethodsThis analysis utilized data from a cross sectional mixed-methods study on factors associated with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in under-five children to assess health facility nutrition services on offer at select level-one hospitals in five out of ten provinces in Zambia. Stata version 13 was used for analysis. We conducted univariate analysis to assess nutrition services offered, functionality of equipment and tools, availability of human resource and human resource development, and availability of drugs used for assessment and management of nutrition-related health outcomes.ResultsWe found large variations in the level of nutrition services on offer across districts and provinces. Eighty-eight percent of all the hospitals sampled provided group nutrition counseling and 92% of the hospitals in our sample offered individual nutrition counseling to their clients. Overall, the existence of referral and counter-referral systems between the Community Based Volunteers and hospitals were the lowest among all services assessed at 48% and 58% respectively. We also found inadequate numbers of human resource across all cadres with an exception of nutritionists as recommended by the Ministry of Health.ConclusionsThis study has revealed a number of gaps in the health system and health service delivery that requires to be addressed; most notably, a lack of tools, policies and guidelines, drugs and health specialists to help care for malnourished infants and children. Our findings also reveal inadequate referral systems between the community and health facilities in the management of severe acute malnutrition. Achieving universal coverage for nutrition services in Zambia will require a lot more attention to the health systems issues found in this study. ]]> <![CDATA[Prevalence of anaemia and low intake of dietary nutrients in pregnant women living in rural and urban areas in the Ashanti region of Ghana]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N7036aac7-9527-4ec9-a4ca-1b112d15d377

Background

Anaemia remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality among women and children worldwide. Because deficiencies in essential micronutrients such as iron, folate and vitamin B12 prior to and during gestation increase a woman’s risk of being anaemic, adequate dietary intake of such nutrients is vital during this important phase in life. However, information on the dietary micronutrient intakes of pregnant women in Ghana, particularly of those resident in rural areas is scanty. Thus, this study aimed to assess anaemia prevalence and dietary micronutrient intakes in pregnant women in urban and rural areas in Ghana.

Methods

A comparative cross sectional study design involving 379 pregnant women was used to assess the prevalence of anaemia and low intake of dietary nutrients in pregnant women living in rural and urban areas in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Anaemia status and mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) were used as proxy for maternal nutritional status. Haemoglobin measurements were used to determine anaemia prevalence and the dietary diversity of the women were determined with a 24-hour dietary recall and a food frequency questionnaire.

Results

Overall, anaemia was present in 56.5% of the study population. Anaemia prevalence was higher among rural residents than urban dwellers. Majority of the respondents had inadequate intakes of iron, zinc, folate, calcium and vitamin A. The mean dietary diversity score (DDS) of the study population from the first 24-hour recall was 3.81 ± 0.7. Of the 379 women, 28.8% met the minimum dietary diversity for women (MDD-W). The independent predictors of haemoglobin concentration were, gestational age, maternal age and dietary diversity score. Such that respondents with low DDS were more likely to be anaemic than those with high DDS (OR = 1.795, p = 0.022, 95% CI: 1.086 to 2.967).

Conclusions

A large percentage of pregnant women still have insufficient dietary intakes of essential nutrients required to support the nutritional demands during pregnancy. Particularly, pregnant women resident in rural areas require interventions such as nutrition education on the selection and preparation of diversified meals to mitigate the effects of undernutrition.

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<![CDATA[Factors influencing nutritional practices among mothers in Dakar, Senegal]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b26a8d5eed0c484289e14

Background

Maternal undernutrition is a leading cause of maternal mortality. Furthermore, health statuses and habits of mothers influence health statuses of newborns as well as healthy habits and mortality of children. The Senegal government is aware of the severity of these issues and has devised a national policy goal of reducing maternal, infant, and adolescent mortality rates by the end of 2018. This study aimed to identify nutritional knowledge, attitudes, and practices of lactating women in Senegal, and determine factors related to nutritional practices to obtain basic data for developing a maternal and child nutrition project.

Method

This study used a mixed–method approach, collecting data via structured questionnaires administered to lactating women in Senegal and semistructured interviews with seven stake–holders. Questions for stuctured questionnaires were about nutritional knowledge, attitudes, and practices. For the quantitative analysis of the structured questionnaires, data from 171 participants analyzed using independent t-tests, Pearson’s correlation coefficients, and multiple linear regression analysis. Interview data were analyzed using an inductive thematic analysis approach. The questions for the interviews concerned maternal and child nutritional status, causes of undernutrition, and restrictions.

Results

Factors significantly related to healthy nutritional practices(explaining 27.1% of variance) included having a household (B = 1.03, p = .015) and a mother (B = 0.96, p = .017) with an above primary school education, and being in the 5th quintile of income level (B = 1.24, p = .014). The interviews with seven stakeholders revealed obstructive factors of nutritional management were insufficient nutritional programs within health centers, incomplete national policy on nutrition, lack of general interest in undernutrition-related topics, inadequate economic environment, and the absence of partnerships to produce sustainable solutions.

Conclusion

Education and income levels, rather than knowledge and attitudes, had a strong relationship with healthy nutritional practices. Therefore, economic factors and educational background must be considered to succeed in Senegalese nutrition projects.

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<![CDATA[Strengths and limitations of computer assisted telephone interviews (CATI) for nutrition data collection in rural Kenya]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52ddd5eed0c4842bd16b

Despite progress in fighting undernutrition, Africa has the highest rates of undernutrition globally, exacerbated by drought and conflict. Mobile phones are emerging as a tool for rapid, cost effective data collection at scale in Africa, as mobile phone subscriptions and phone ownership increase at the highest rates globally. To assess the feasibility and biases of collecting nutrition data via computer assisted telephone interviews (CATI) to mobile phones, we measured Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women (MDD-W) and Minimum Acceptable Diet for Infants and Young Children (MAD) using a one-week test-retest study on 1,821 households in Kenya. Accuracy and bias were assessed by comparing individual scores and population prevalence of undernutrition collected via CATI with data collected via traditional face-to-face (F2F) surveys. We were able to reach 75% (n = 1366) of study participants via CATI. Women’s reported nutrition scores did not change with mode for MDD-W, but children’s nutrition scores were significantly higher when measured via CATI for both the dietary diversity (mean increase of 0.45 food groups, 95% confidence interval 0.34–0.56) and meal frequency (mean increase of 0.75 meals per day, 95% confidence interval 0.53–0.96) components of MAD. This resulted in a 17% higher inferred prevalence of adequate diets for infants and young children via CATI. Women without mobile-phone access were younger and had fewer assets than women with access, but only marginally lower dietary diversity, resulting in a small non-coverage bias of 1–7% due to exclusion of participants without mobile phones. Thus, collecting nutrition data from rural women in Africa with mobile phones may result in 0% (no change) to as much as 25% higher nutrition estimates than collecting that information in face-to-face interviews.

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<![CDATA[Seasonal malaria chemoprevention packaged with malnutrition prevention in northern Nigeria: A pragmatic trial (SMAMP study) with nested case-control]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e6e0d5eed0c484ef40d4

Integrating seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC), recommended by the WHO since 2012 to prevent malaria infection, with nutrition interventions may improve health outcomes and operational efficiencies. This study assessed the effects of co-packaging interventions on distribution coverage, nutrition, and clinical malaria outcomes in northern Nigeria. From August to November 2014, community volunteers delivered sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and amodiaquine (SP-AQ) door-to-door each month to approximately 7,000 children aged 6–24 months in seven wards of Madobi, Kano State, Nigeria. In three of the wards children additionally received a lipid-based nutrient supplement (LNS–medium quantity), Plumpy Doz. Coverage, adherence, and anthropometric outcomes were assessed through baseline, midline, and endline household surveys. A facility-based case-control study was also conducted to estimate impact on clinical malaria outcomes. Coverage of SP-AQ was similar between arms at 89% (n = 2,409 child-months [88–90%]) in the SP-AQ only arm and 90% (n = 1,947 child-months [88–92%]) in the SP-AQ plus LNS arm (p = 0.52). Coverage of LNS was 83% (n = 2,409 child-months [81–84%]). Whilst there were marked changes in anthropometric status between baseline, midline and endline, these were largely accounted for by socioeconomic status and must be interpreted with care due to possible measurement issues, especially length-based indices. Overall nutritional status of our most robust measure, weight-for-age, does appear to have improved by endline, but was similar in the two study arms, suggesting no additional benefit of the LNS. While the odds of clinical malaria among those who received the intended intervention were lower in each study arm compared to children who did not receive interventions (SP-AQ only OR = 0.23 [0.09–0.6]; SP-AQ plus LNS OR = 0.22 [0.09–0.55]), LNS was not shown to have an additional impact. Coverage of SMC was high regardless of integrating LNS delivery into the SMC campaign. Supplementation with LNS did not appear to impact nutritional outcomes, but appeared to enhance the impact of SP-AQ on clinical odds of malaria. These results indicate that combining nutritional interventions with seasonal malaria chemoprevention in high-risk areas can be done successfully, warranting further exploration with other products or dosing.

Trial Registration: ISRCTN 11413895

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of Nutrition Risk Screening Score 2002 (NRS) assessment in hospitalized chronic kidney disease patient]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536bd8d5eed0c484a49346

Background

Although chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients are particularly prone to malnutrition, systematic nutritional screening is rarely routinely performed during hospitalization. The primary aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of malnutrition (as captured by the nutritional screening score NRS) in hospitalized CKD patients and explore the impact of malnutrition on hospital mortality.

Methods

All patients admitted to the tertiary nephrology department of the University hospital of Bern Inselspital over a period of 12 months were included in this observational study. The risk for malnutrition was assessed within 24h of admission by the NRS. Demographic, clinical, and outcome data were extracted from the patient database. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. The secondary outcomes were length of hospitalization and hospitalization costs. Multilevel mixed-effect logistic regression model analysis was performed to determine the association of in-hospital mortality and risk of malnutrition (NRS score≥3).

Results

We included 696 eligible hospitalizations of 489 CKD patients. Hospitalized patients had a median age of 64 years (interquartile range (IQR), 52–72), 35.6% were at risk of malnutrition (NRS≥3). After adjustment for the identified confounders (Case weight, Barthel index, and CKD stage) multivariate analysis confirmed an independent and significant association between higher in-hospital mortality with NRS≥3 [OR 2.92 (95% CI: 1.33–6.39), P<0.001]. Furthermore, in multivariate analysis the risk of malnutrition was associated with longer length of hospitalization [Geometric mean ratio: 1.8 (95% CI: 1.5–2.0), p<0.001] and with increased hospitalization costs [Geometric mean ratio: 1.7 (95% CI: 1.5–1.9), p<0.001]).

Conclusions

Malnutrition in CKD patients, as captured by NRS>3, is highly prevalent among hospitalized CKD patient and associated with prolonged hospital stay and increased in-hospital mortality.

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<![CDATA[The influence of maternal agency on severe child undernutrition in conflict-ridden Nigeria: Modeling heterogeneous treatment effects with machine learning]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5ebd5eed0c484caa176

Nigeria is one of the fastest growing African economies, yet struggles with armed conflict, poverty, and morbidity. An area of high concern is how this situation affects vulnerable families and their children. A key pathway in improving the situation for children in times of conflict is to reinforce maternal agency, for instance, through education. However, the state of the art of research lacks a clear understanding of how many years of education is needed before children benefit. Due to mother’s differing social context and ability, the effect of maternal education varies. We study the heterogeneous treatment effects of maternal agency, here operationalized as length of education, on severe child undernutrition in the context of armed conflict. We deploy a repeated cross-sectional study design, using the Nigeria 2008 and 2013 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). The sample covers 25,917 children and their respective mothers. A key methodological challenge is to estimate this heterogeneity inductively. The causal inference literature proposes a machine learning approach, Bayesian Additive Regression Trees (BART), as a promising avenue to overcome this challenge. Based on BART-estimation of the Conditional Average Treatment Effect (CATE) this study confirms earlier findings in that maternal education decreases severe child undernutrition, but only when mothers acquire an education that lasts more than the country’s compulsory 9 years; that is 10 years of education and higher. This protective effect remains even during the exposure of armed conflict.

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<![CDATA[Nutritional risk index as a predictor of mortality in acutely decompensated heart failure]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1d5b9ed5eed0c4846ec2b2

Background

We investigated the role of nutritional risk index (NRI) in predicting 1-year mortality in patients with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF).

Methods

Among 5,625 cohort patients enrolled in Korean Acute Heart Failure (KorAHF) Registry, a total of 5,265 patients who were possible to calculate NRI [NRI = (1.519 x serum albumin [g/dl]) + (41.7 x weight [kg]/ideal body weight [kg])] were enrolled. The patients were divided into 4 groups according to the NRI quartile; Q1 <89 (n = 1121, 69.9 ± 14.5 years, 632 males), Q2 89–95 (n = 1234, 69.7 ± 14.4 years, 677 males), Q3 95–100 (n = 1199, 68.8 ± 14.0 years, 849 males), Q4 >100 (n = 1711, 65.6 ± 14.5 years, 779 males). Primary end-point was all-cause mortality at 1-year clinical follow-up.

Results

The 1-year mortality was significantly increased as the NRI quartile decreased, and the lowest NRI quartile was associated with the highest 1-year mortality (Q1: 27.5% vs. Q2: 20.9% vs. Q3: 12.9% vs. Q4: 8.7%, linear p <0.001). On Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, the significant inter-quartile difference was observed (p <0.001 for all). In multivariate analysis using Cox proportional hazard regression, the lowest NRI quartile was an independent predictor of 1-year mortality in patients with ADHF.

Conclusions

Poor nutritional status as assessed by NRI and quartile grading of NRI was associated with 1-year mortality in Korean patients with ADHF. The assessment of nutritional status by NRI may provide additional prognostic information and thus would be useful in the risk stratification of the patients with ADHF.

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<![CDATA[Diagnosing the double burden of malnutrition using estimated deviation values in low- and lower-middle-income countries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf93d5eed0c4849149b3

Objective

To examine the possibility of diagnosing the double burden of malnutrition using estimated deviation values in low- and lower-middle-income countries.

Methods

A modified version of the Japanese Diagnostic Tool was used. Data on 194 countries were analyzed, including data from the United Nations International Children’s Fund, World Health Organization and World Bank. After conducting a Box–Cox transformation, deviation values were calculated. The degree to which the values deviated relative to a deviation cutoff value of 50 was assessed. Focusing on countries with low- and middle-income economic levels, we examined the utility of this tool to show characteristic nutritional problems in each country.

Results

The deviation values had normal, distorted, bimodal, or trimodal distributions. In the lower-middle-income countries, almost all countries had values ranging from 40 to 60 for education and water environments (urban and rural), and the differences were minimal. However, different causes of noncommunicable disease-related deaths were considered, and the primary cause appeared to be related to lifestyle factors, particularly alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking. In comparison, the deviation values related to death among low-income countries also appeared to be related to differences in education and sanitation in urban and rural areas.

Conclusion

The study results can help to determine the status of nutritional inequalities and plan country-specific strategies to reduce the double burden of malnutrition.

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<![CDATA[A Case and Review of Noma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad9ab0ee8fa60bb9169 ]]> <![CDATA[Post-Discharge Mortality in Children with Severe Malnutrition and Pneumonia in Bangladesh]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da95ab0ee8fa60ba191e

Background

Post-discharge mortality among children with severe illness in resource-limited settings is under-recognized and there are limited data. We evaluated post-discharge mortality in a recently reported cohort of children with severe malnutrition and pneumonia, and identified characteristics associated with an increased risk of death.

Methods

Young children (<5 years of age) with severe malnutrition (WHO criteria) and radiographic pneumonia on admission to Dhaka Hospital of icddr,b over a 15-month period were managed according to standard protocols. Those discharged were followed-up and survival status at 12 weeks post-discharge was determined. Verbal autopsy was requested from families of those that died.

Results

Of 405 children hospitalized with severe malnutrition and pneumonia, 369 (median age, 10 months) were discharged alive with a follow-up plan. Of these, 32 (8.7%) died in the community within 3 months of discharge: median 22 (IQR 9–35) days from discharge to death. Most deaths were reportedly associated with acute onset of new respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms. Those that died following discharge were significantly younger (median 6 [IQR 3,12] months) and more severely malnourished, on admission and on discharge, than those that survived. Bivariate analysis found that severe wasting on admission (OR 3.64, 95% CI 1.66–7.97) and age <12 months (OR 2.54, 95% CI 1.1–8.8) were significantly associated with post-discharge death. Of those that died in the community, none had attended a scheduled follow-up and care-seeking from a traditional healer was more common (p<0.001) compared to those who survived.

Conclusion and Significance

Post-discharge mortality was common in Bangladeshi children following inpatient care for severe malnutrition and pneumonia. The underlying contributing factors require a better understanding to inform the potential of interventions that could improve survival.

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<![CDATA[The role of Aspartyl aminopeptidase (Ape4) in Cryptococcus neoformans virulence and authophagy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be005d

In order to survive and cause disease, microbial pathogens must be able to proliferate at the temperature of their infected host. We identified novel microbial features associated with thermotolerance in the opportunistic fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans using a random insertional mutagenesis strategy, screening for mutants with defective growth at 37°C. Among several thermosensitive mutants, we identified one bearing a disruption in a gene predicted to encode the Ape4 aspartyl aminopeptidase protein. Ape4 metalloproteases in other fungi, including Saccharomyces cerevisiae, are activated by nitrogen starvation, and they are required for autophagy and the cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting (Cvt) pathway. However, none have been previously associated with altered growth at elevated temperatures. We demonstrated that the C. neoformans ape4 mutant does not grow at 37°C, and it also has defects in the expression of important virulence factors such as phospholipase production and capsule formation. C. neoformans Ape4 activity was required for this facultative intracellular pathogen to survive within macrophages, as well as for virulence in an animal model of cryptococcal infection. Similar to S. cerevisiae Ape4, the C. neoformans GFP-Ape4 fusion protein co-localized with intracytoplasmic vesicles during nitrogen depletion. APE4 expression was also induced by the combination of nutrient and thermal stress. Together these results suggest that autophagy is an important cellular process for this microbial pathogen to survive within the environment of the infected host.

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<![CDATA[Seasonal Hunger: A Neglected Problem with Proven Solutions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9efab0ee8fa60b6de4a ]]> <![CDATA[Biomarkers of Environmental Enteropathy, Inflammation, Stunting, and Impaired Growth in Children in Northeast Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da4eab0ee8fa60b8d481

Critical to the design and assessment of interventions for enteropathy and its developmental consequences in children living in impoverished conditions are non-invasive biomarkers that can detect intestinal damage and predict its effects on growth and development. We therefore assessed fecal, urinary and systemic biomarkers of enteropathy and growth predictors in 375 6–26 month-old children with varying degrees of malnutrition (stunting or wasting) in Northeast Brazil. 301 of these children returned for followup anthropometry after 2-6m. Biomarkers that correlated with stunting included plasma IgA anti-LPS and anti-FliC, zonulin (if >12m old), and intestinal FABP (I-FABP, suggesting prior barrier disruption); and with citrulline, tryptophan and with lower serum amyloid A (SAA) (suggesting impaired defenses). In contrast, subsequent growth was predicted in those with higher fecal MPO or A1AT and also by higher L/M, plasma LPS, I-FABP and SAA (showing intestinal barrier disruption and inflammation). Better growth was predicted in girls with higher plasma citrulline and in boys with higher plasma tryptophan. Interactions were also seen with fecal MPO and neopterin in predicting subsequent growth impairment.

Biomarkers clustered into markers of 1) functional intestinal barrier disruption and translocation, 2) structural intestinal barrier disruption and inflammation and 3) systemic inflammation. Principle components pathway analyses also showed that L/M with %L, I-FABP and MPO associate with impaired growth, while also (like MPO) associating with a systemic inflammation cluster of kynurenine, LBP, sCD14, SAA and K/T. Systemic evidence of LPS translocation associated with stunting, while markers of barrier disruption or repair (A1AT and Reg1 with low zonulin) associated with fecal MPO and neopterin.

We conclude that key noninvasive biomarkers of intestinal barrier disruption, LPS translocation and of intestinal and systemic inflammation can help elucidate how we recognize, understand, and assess effective interventions for enteropathy and its growth and developmental consequences in children in impoverished settings.

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<![CDATA[Triple Burden of Obesity, Undernutrition, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk among Indian Tribes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9faab0ee8fa60b71a93

Background

Socio-cultural transitions among individuals from vulnerable groups introduce epidemiological transition, with a concomitant increase in the prevalence of undernutrition, obesity, and cardiovascular disease risks. An accepted conventional wisdom exists for Indian tribes that they are undernourished and away from lifestyle-related diseases. However, the extent of this triple burden affecting them is unknown. In this study, we assessed this triple burden among the 9 major tribes of India.

Methods and Findings

During January 2011 to December 2013, we conducted a cross-sectional study among 1066 men and 1090 women constituting a total of 2156 adults belonging to the 9 major tribal groups: Santals, Oraons, and Koras (West Bengal); Santals, Bhumijs, and Bathudis (Odisha); and Dhodias, Kuknas, and Chaudharis (Gujarat) to estimate the prevalence of the triple burden (undernutrition, overweight or obesity, and hypertension). A high prevalence of undernutrition and hypertension was observed among the Koras (51.9%and 10.6%, respectively), Bathudis (51.3% and 12.1%, respectively), and Oraons (49.6% and 16.5%, respectively). However, the prevalence of overweight and hypertension among the Bhumijs (17.7% and 14.7%, respectively), Dhodias (23.8% and 12.9%, respectively), Kuknas (15.8% and 11.3%, respectively), and Santals of West Bengal (12.2% and 11.8%, respectively) and Odisha (15% and 9.6%, respectively) was most alarming. The prevalence of overweight or obesity among the women was 10.9% and 1.5%, respectively, with 14.0% hypertensive women. The prevalence of overweight and obesity among the men was 14.8% and 1.7%, respectively, with 9.2% hypertensive men. Undernutrition was highly prevalent among men and women. However, data from the past 30 years on systolic blood pressure (SBP) and body mass index (BMI) revealed that the studied tribes were at a higher risk than the general Indian population. In addition, a vast gender disparity with relation to the disease and risk prevalence was observed.

Conclusion

The alarming trend of an increasing prevalence of overweight/obesity, undernutrition, and hypertension is observed among indigenous populations of India, emphasizing the incorporation of a specific health management policy.

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<![CDATA[Glutamine Supplementation Stimulates Protein-Synthetic and Inhibits Protein-Degradative Signaling Pathways in Skeletal Muscle of Diabetic Rats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da08ab0ee8fa60b7664f

In this study, we investigated the effect of glutamine (Gln) supplementation on the signaling pathways regulating protein synthesis and protein degradation in the skeletal muscle of rats with streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes. The expression levels of key regulatory proteins in the synthetic pathways (Akt, mTOR, GSK3 and 4E-BP1) and the degradation pathways (MuRF-1 and MAFbx) were determined using real-time PCR and Western blotting in four groups of male Wistar rats; 1) control, non-supplemented with glutamine; 2) control, supplemented with glutamine; 3) diabetic, non-supplemented with glutamine; and 4) diabetic, supplemented with glutamine. Diabetes was induced by the intravenous injection of 65 mg/kg bw STZ in citrate buffer (pH 4.2); the non-diabetic controls received only citrate buffer. After 48 hours, diabetes was confirmed in the STZ-treated animals by the determination of blood glucose levels above 200 mg/dL. Starting on that day, a solution of 1 g/kg bw Gln in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) was administered daily via gavage for 15 days to groups 2 and 4. Groups 1 and 3 received only PBS for the same duration. The rats were euthanized, and the soleus muscles were removed and homogenized in extraction buffer for the subsequent measurement of protein and mRNA levels. The results demonstrated a significant decrease in the muscle Gln content in the diabetic rats, and this level increased toward the control value in the diabetic rats receiving Gln. In addition, the diabetic rats exhibited a reduced mRNA expression of regulatory proteins in the protein synthesis pathway and increased expression of those associated with protein degradation. A reduction in the skeletal muscle mass in the diabetic rats was observed and was alleviated partially with Gln supplementation. The data suggest that glutamine supplementation is potentially useful for slowing the progression of muscle atrophy in patients with diabetes.

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<![CDATA[Dietary Deficiency of Essential Amino Acids Rapidly Induces Cessation of the Rat Estrous Cycle]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da2fab0ee8fa60b83d94

Reproductive functions are regulated by the sophisticated coordination between the neuronal and endocrine systems and are sustained by a proper nutritional environment. Female reproductive function is vulnerable to effects from dietary restrictions, suggesting a transient adaptation that prioritizes individual survival over reproduction until a possible future opportunity for satiation. This adaptation could also partially explain the existence of amenorrhea in women with anorexia nervosa. Because amino acid nutritional conditions other than caloric restriction uniquely alters amino acid metabolism and affect the hormonal levels of organisms, we hypothesized that the supply of essential amino acids in the diet plays a pivotal role in the maintenance of the female reproductive system. To test this hypothesis, we examined ovulatory cyclicity in female rats under diets that were deficient in threonine, lysine, tryptophan, methionine or valine. Ovulatory cyclicity was monitored by daily cytological evaluations of vaginal smears. After continuous feeding of the deficient diet, a persistent diestrus or anovulatory state was induced most quickly by the valine-deficient diet and most slowly by the lysine-deficient diet. A decline in the systemic insulin-like growth factor 1 level was associated with a dietary amino acid deficiency. Furthermore, a paired group of rats that were fed an isocaloric diet with balanced amino acids maintained normal estrous cyclicity. These disturbances of the estrous cycle by amino acid deficiency were quickly reversed by the consumption of a normal diet. The continuous anovulatory state in this study is not attributable to a decrease in caloric intake but to an imbalance in the dietary amino acid composition. With a shortage of well-balanced amino acid sources, reproduction becomes risky for both the mother and the fetus. It could be viewed as an adaptation to the diet, diverting resources away from reproduction and reallocating them to survival until well-balanced amino acid sources are found.

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<![CDATA[Is Overweight in Stunted Preschool Children in Cameroon Related to Reductions in Fat Oxidation, Resting Energy Expenditure and Physical Activity?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad8ab0ee8fa60bb89d5

Background

Recent studies suggest that early modifications in metabolic pathways and behaviour, leading to energy conservation and reduced linear growth, could represent adaptations to nutritional constraints during foetal life and infancy. Impaired fat oxidation, low resting energy expenditure and reduced physical activity, resulting from these adaptations, could facilitate fat storage and development of overweight in growth-retarded children that consume more energy-dense food. This study aims at assessing whether: (1) dual-burden preschool children (simultaneously stunted and overweight) of Yaounde (Cameroon) have low birth-weight (indicator of foetal undernutrition) and reductions in fat oxidation, resting energy expenditure (REE) and physical activity, (2) fat oxidation, REE and physical activity are associated with foetal growth.

Methodology/Principal Findings

162 children (24–72 months) were considered: 22 stunted-overweight (SO), 40 stunted (S), 41 overweight (O), and 59 non stunted-non overweight (NSNO). Nutritional status and body composition were assessed using anthropometry and multifrequency bioimpedance analysis. Fasting respiratory quotient (RQ) and REE were measured by indirect calorimetry. Physical activity was determined using accelerometers, food questionnaires were used for diet assessment and birth-weight was noted. Mean RQs and REE (weight adjusted) did not differ between stunted children (SO and S) and non-stunted children (O and NSNO). SO and S children spent more time in sedentary activities than O children (p = 0.01 and p = 0.02, respectively) and less time in moderate-to-vigorous activities than NSNO children (p = 0.05 and p = 0.04, respectively). SO children’s diet was less diverse (p = 0.01) with less animal products (p = 0.006). Multiple linear regressions model revealed that birth-weight is predictive of RQ (β = 0.237, p<0.01, R2 = 0.08).

Conclusions/Significance

This study showed that growth retardation in stunted-overweight children could be associated with postnatal nutritional deficiencies. Overweight in stunted children could be associated with reduced physical activity in the context of nutrition transition. High birth-weight was a predictor of reduced lipid oxidation, a risk factor of fat deposition.

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<![CDATA[Serum Phosphate Predicts Early Mortality in Adults Starting Antiretroviral Therapy in Lusaka, Zambia: A Prospective Cohort Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da26ab0ee8fa60b80a30

Background

Patients starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in sub-Saharan Africa have high rates of mortality in the initial weeks of treatment. We assessed the association of serum phosphate with early mortality among HIV-infected adults with severe malnutrition and/or advanced immunosuppression.

Methodology/Principal Findings

An observational cohort of 142 HIV-infected adults initiating ART in Lusaka, Zambia with body mass index (BMI) <16 kg/m2 or CD4+ lymphocyte count <50 cells/µL, or both, was followed prospectively during the first 12 weeks of ART. Detailed health and dietary intake history, review of systems, physical examination, serum metabolic panel including phosphate, and serum ferritin and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) were monitored. The primary outcome was mortality. Baseline serum phosphate was a significant predictor of mortality; participants alive at 12 weeks had a median value of 1.30 mmol/L (interquartile range [IQR]: 1.04, 1.43), compared to 1.06 mmol/L (IQR: 0.89, 1.27) among those who died (p<0.01). Each 0.1 mmol/L increase in baseline phosphate was associated with an incremental decrease in mortality (AHR 0.83; 95% CI 0.72 to 0.95). The association was independent of other metabolic parameters and known risk factors for early ART-associated mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. While participant attrition represented a limitation, it was consistent with local program experience.

Conclusions/Significance

Low serum phosphate at ART initiation was an independent predictor of early mortality among HIV patients starting ART with severe malnutrition or advanced immunosuppression. This may represent a physiologic phenomenon similar to refeeding syndrome, and may lead to therapeutic interventions that could reduce mortality.

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<![CDATA[Progression of Cardio-Metabolic Risk Factors in Subjects Born Small and Large for Gestational Age]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab1ab0ee8fa60bab99f

Background

Subjects born small (SGA) and large (LGA) for gestational age have an increased risk of cardio-metabolic alterations already during prepuberty. Nevertheless, the progression of their cardio-metabolic profile from childhood to adolescence has not been fully explored. Our aim was to assess potential changes in the cardio-metabolic profile from childhood to adolescence in subjects born SGA and LGA compared to those born appropriate (AGA) for gestational age.

Methods

This longitudinal study included 35 AGA, 24 SGA and 31 LGA subjects evaluated during childhood (mean age (±SD) 8.4±1.4 yr) and then re-assessed during adolescence (mean age 13.3±1.8 yr). BMI, blood pressure, insulin resistance (fasting insulin, HOMA-IR) and lipids were assessed. A cardio-metabolic risk z-score was applied and this consisted in calculating the sum of sex-specific z-scores for BMI, blood pressure, HOMA-IR, triglycerides and triglycerides:high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio.

Results

Fasting insulin and HOMA-IR were higher in SGA and LGA than AGA subjects both during childhood (all P<0.01) and adolescence (all P<0.01). Similarly, the clustered cardio-metabolic risk score was higher in SGA and LGA than AGA children (both P<0.05), and these differences among groups increased during adolescence (both P<0.05). Of note, a progression of the clustered cardio-metabolic risk score was observed from childhood to adolescence within SGA and within LGA subjects (both P<0.05).

Conclusions

SGA and LGA subjects showed an adverse cardio-metabolic profile during childhood when compared to AGA peers, with a worsening of this profile during adolescence. These findings indicate an overtime progression of insulin resistance and overall estimated cardiovascular risk from childhood to adolescence in SGA and LGA populations.

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