Profile of under – five malnourished children admitted in a Tertiary care teaching hospital in Pune, India

Dhrubajyoti J Debnath, Chandrakant V Parulekar


Background: Malnutrition is a major public health problem in a developing country like India. Keeping this in mind a study was carried out to find the proportion of under–five children suffering from malnutrition among the under‑five hospitalized children and to study co‑morbid illnesses and epidemiological factors associated with malnutrition.

Methods: This was a hospital‑based cross sectional study carried out in the pediatric ward of a tertiary care teaching hospital in Pune, India. All under–five children suffering from malnutrition were studied over a period of 1 month.

Results: Total number of under five children diagnosed as malnourished were 47 (39.83%). Moderate and severe/very severe malnutrition was statistically significantly higher in a girl child. The proportion of moderate and severe/very severe malnutrition was higher in low birth weight babies, children who were incompletely immunized for age. Faulty infant feeding practice was observed in 28 (59.6%) children. Some of the co‑morbid illnesses contributing to morbidity in the malnourished child were acute diarrheal diseases, acute respiratory infection, anemia, and septicemia.

Conclusion: A large proportion of hospitalized children were malnourished. Girl child suffered from moderate to severe forms of malnutrition as compared to male child and this was the only statistically significant association. This may be due to neglect of girl child.

Key words: Hospital, infant, malnutrition, morbidity, preschool

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