Comorbidities in children hospitalized with severe acute malnutrition

  • Vinnamangalam Mani Baskaran
  • Sridevi A Naaraayan
  • Dorairaj Priyadharishini


Background: As per the National Family Health Survey-4 data, 7.9% of under-five children in the state of Tamil Nadu are severely wasted. The outcome of hospitalized severe acute malnutrition (SAM) children is dependent on the comorbidities present. Objective: The objective of this study is to describe the comorbid conditions in SAM children hospitalized in a tertiary care center. Methodology: This study was a hospital-based descriptive study, conducted from July 2015 to June 2016. A total number of 200 children, who were admitted with SAM as per the World Health Organization criteria, were included in the study. Systemic illness, anemia, vitamin deficiencies, sepsis, retroviral infection, tuberculosis, pneumonia, acute gastroenteritis, urinary tract infection (UTI), measles, skin infections, and worm infestations were the comorbidities considered. Results: Among 200 hospitalized SAM children, the median (interquartile) age was 15 (11–21.75) months; there were 93 (46.5%) boys. Acute gastroenteritis (57.5%) was the most common comorbidity, followed by pneumonia (44.5%), anemia (27%), systemic illness (17%), worm infestation (13.5%), UTI (13.5%), sepsis (13%), skin infection (8%), measles (6%), vitamin deficiency (4%), retroviral infections (3.5%), and tuberculosis (1%). The case fatality rate was 10.5%. Conclusion: Prompt identification of comorbidities is crucial in hospitalized SAM children, which will pave way for their treatment, resulting in better outcomes.

Keywords: Comorbidities, Outcome, Severe acute malnutrition
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How to Cite
Baskaran, V., Naaraayan, S. A., & Priyadharishini, D. ( ). Comorbidities in children hospitalized with severe acute malnutrition. Indian Journal of Child Health, 5(8), 530-532. Retrieved from
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