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Nutritional change and economic crisis in an urban Congolese community.
Int J Epidemiol. 1995 Feb; 24(1):155-64.IJ

Abstract

BACKGROUND

In 1986, the government of Congo undertook a structural adjustment programme to cope with the economic crisis. We present the results of a study whose objectives were to assess the evolution of nutritional status of an urban community between 1986 and 1991 and to identify specific groups for which the nutritional status may have worsened.

METHODS

Two cross-sectional surveys were carried out on representative samples of Brazzaville children < 6 years old: 2295 children were surveyed in 1986 and 2373 in 1991. Anthropometric assessment of nutritional status was performed. For children, weight-for-height and height-for-age indices were used according to WHO recommendations. Wasting and stunting were respectively defined as indices under -2 z-scores. Body mass index of mothers was calculated and risk of chronic energy deficiency (CED) was defined as < 18.5 kg/m2. Socioeconomic data relative to the households were also collected. Multivariate statistical methods were used to obtain adjusted estimates of nutritional changes in the community.

RESULTS

Data analysis led to several converging results: increase in the percentage of low birthweight (10.2% in 1985 versus 18.7% in 1990), increase in the percentage of CED (from 7.9% to 10.5%), and increase in the prevalence of wasting (from 2.9% to 4.2%). By contrast, the overall prevalence of stunting decreased from 13.9% to 11.0%. After statistical adjustment, the factors found to influence the evolution of anthropometric status were: age of child, age of mother, schooling of mother and household characteristics such as number of preschool children, economic level and head of household's occupation.

CONCLUSIONS

The study enables the negative effects of the economic crisis to be quantified. Body mass index is shown to be sensitive to economic changes. It could be recommended as a possible indicator for monitoring the nutritional status at population level. The results also call for a new impetus in preventive health programmes and the implementation of nutritional surveillance activities.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Research Unit 44, ORSTOM-LNT WHO Collaborating Centre for Nutrition, Montpellier, France.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

7797338

Citation

Cornu, A, et al. "Nutritional Change and Economic Crisis in an Urban Congolese Community." International Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 24, no. 1, 1995, pp. 155-64.
Cornu A, Massamba JP, Traissac P, et al. Nutritional change and economic crisis in an urban Congolese community. Int J Epidemiol. 1995;24(1):155-64.
Cornu, A., Massamba, J. P., Traissac, P., Simondon, F., Villeneuve, P., & Delpeuch, F. (1995). Nutritional change and economic crisis in an urban Congolese community. International Journal of Epidemiology, 24(1), 155-64.
Cornu A, et al. Nutritional Change and Economic Crisis in an Urban Congolese Community. Int J Epidemiol. 1995;24(1):155-64. PubMed PMID: 7797338.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Nutritional change and economic crisis in an urban Congolese community. AU - Cornu,A, AU - Massamba,J P, AU - Traissac,P, AU - Simondon,F, AU - Villeneuve,P, AU - Delpeuch,F, PY - 1995/2/1/pubmed PY - 1995/2/1/medline PY - 1995/2/1/entrez KW - Africa KW - Africa South Of The Sahara KW - Biology KW - Child Development KW - Child Nutrition--changes KW - Congo KW - Demographic Factors KW - Developing Countries KW - Economic Conditions KW - Economic Factors KW - French Speaking Africa KW - Growth KW - Health KW - Macroeconomic Factors KW - Middle Africa KW - Nutrition KW - Population KW - Population Characteristics KW - Research Report KW - Urban Population SP - 155 EP - 64 JF - International journal of epidemiology JO - Int J Epidemiol VL - 24 IS - 1 N2 - BACKGROUND: In 1986, the government of Congo undertook a structural adjustment programme to cope with the economic crisis. We present the results of a study whose objectives were to assess the evolution of nutritional status of an urban community between 1986 and 1991 and to identify specific groups for which the nutritional status may have worsened. METHODS: Two cross-sectional surveys were carried out on representative samples of Brazzaville children < 6 years old: 2295 children were surveyed in 1986 and 2373 in 1991. Anthropometric assessment of nutritional status was performed. For children, weight-for-height and height-for-age indices were used according to WHO recommendations. Wasting and stunting were respectively defined as indices under -2 z-scores. Body mass index of mothers was calculated and risk of chronic energy deficiency (CED) was defined as < 18.5 kg/m2. Socioeconomic data relative to the households were also collected. Multivariate statistical methods were used to obtain adjusted estimates of nutritional changes in the community. RESULTS: Data analysis led to several converging results: increase in the percentage of low birthweight (10.2% in 1985 versus 18.7% in 1990), increase in the percentage of CED (from 7.9% to 10.5%), and increase in the prevalence of wasting (from 2.9% to 4.2%). By contrast, the overall prevalence of stunting decreased from 13.9% to 11.0%. After statistical adjustment, the factors found to influence the evolution of anthropometric status were: age of child, age of mother, schooling of mother and household characteristics such as number of preschool children, economic level and head of household's occupation. CONCLUSIONS: The study enables the negative effects of the economic crisis to be quantified. Body mass index is shown to be sensitive to economic changes. It could be recommended as a possible indicator for monitoring the nutritional status at population level. The results also call for a new impetus in preventive health programmes and the implementation of nutritional surveillance activities. SN - 0300-5771 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/7797338/Nutritional_change_and_economic_crisis_in_an_urban_Congolese_community_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/ije/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/ije/24.1.155 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -