Article

Association of maternal height with child mortality, anthropometric failure, and anemia in India.

Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 29.98). 05/2009; 301(16):1691-701. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.548
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Prior research on the determinants of child health has focused on contemporaneous risk factors such as maternal behaviors, dietary factors, and immediate environmental conditions. Research on intergenerational factors that might also predispose a child to increased health adversity remains limited.
To examine the association between maternal height and child mortality, anthropometric failure, and anemia.
We retrieved data from the 2005-2006 National Family Health Survey in India (released in 2008). The study population constitutes a nationally representative cross-sectional sample of singleton children aged 0 to 59 months and born after January 2000 or January 2001 (n = 50 750) to mothers aged 15 to 49 years from all 29 states of India. Information on children was obtained by a face-to-face interview with mothers, with a response rate of 94.5%. Height was measured with an adjustable measuring board calibrated in millimeters. Demographic and socioeconomic variables were considered as covariates. Modified Poisson regression models that account for multistage survey design and sampling weights were estimated.
Mortality was the primary end point; underweight, stunting, wasting, and anemia were included as secondary outcomes.
In adjusted models, a 1-cm increase in maternal height was associated with a decreased risk of child mortality (relative risk [RR], 0.978; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.970-0.987; P < .001), underweight (RR, 0.971; 95% CI, 0.968-0.974; P < .001), stunting (RR, 0.971; 95% CI, 0.968-0.0973; P < .001), wasting (RR, 0.989; 95% CI, 0.984-0.994; P < .001), and anemia (RR, 0.998; 95% CI, 0.997-0.999; P = .02). Children born to mothers who were less than 145 cm in height were 1.71 times more likely to die (95% CI, 1.37-2.13) (absolute probability, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.07-0.12) compared with mothers who were at least 160 cm in height (absolute probability, 0.05; 95% CI, 0.04-0.07). Similar patterns were observed for anthropometric failure related to underweight and stunting. Paternal height was not associated with child mortality or anemia but was associated with child anthropometric failure.
In a nationally representative sample of households in India, maternal height was inversely associated with child mortality and anthropometric failure.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
275 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Linear growth failure is the most common form of undernutrition globally. With an estimated 165 million children below 5 years of age affected, stunting has been identified as a major public health priority, and there are ambitious targets to reduce the prevalence of stunting by 40% between 2010 and 2025. We view this condition as a 'stunting syndrome' in which multiple pathological changes marked by linear growth retardation in early life are associated with increased morbidity and mortality, reduced physical, neurodevelopmental and economic capacity and an elevated risk of metabolic disease into adulthood. Stunting is a cyclical process because women who were themselves stunted in childhood tend to have stunted offspring, creating an intergenerational cycle of poverty and reduced human capital that is difficult to break. In this review, the mechanisms underlying linear growth failure at different ages are described, the short-, medium- and long-term consequences of stunting are discussed, and the evidence for windows of opportunity during the life cycle to target interventions at the stunting syndrome are evaluated.
    Annals of Tropical Paediatrics International Child Health 10/2014; DOI:10.1179/2046905514Y.0000000158 · 1.17 Impact Factor
  • Source
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Human height is a highly variable trait, both within and between populations, has a high heritability, and influences the manner in which people behave and are treated in society. Although we know much about human height, this information has rarely been brought together in a comprehensive, systematic fashion. Here, we present a synthetic review of the literature on human height from an explicit evolutionary perspective, addressing its phylogenetic history, development, and environmental and genetic influences on growth and stature. In addition to presenting evidence to suggest the past action of natural selection on human height, we also assess the evidence that natural and sexual selection continues to act on height in contemporary populations. Although there is clear evidence to suggest that selection acts on height, mainly through life-history processes but perhaps also directly, it is also apparent that methodological factors reduce the confidence with which such inferences can be drawn, and there remain surprising gaps in our knowledge. The inability to draw firm conclusions about the adaptiveness of such a highly visible and easily measured trait suggests we should show an appropriate degree of caution when dealing with other human traits in evolutionary perspective.
    Biological Reviews 12/2014; DOI:10.1111/brv.12165 · 10.26 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
84 Downloads
Available from
May 20, 2014