Introduction: The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) report of 2012 says that almost one in five children below the age of five years in developing countries is underweight.The prevalence of malnutrition in India is high and almost one third of worlds malnourished children are from India. The present study was aimed at finding the nutritional deficiencies and comorbid conditions in children with PEM. Aim of the Study: To study the prevalence of nutritional deficiencies and common comorbid conditions in undernourished hospital visiting paediatric patients. Materials and Methods: This wasaprospective study carried out in the department of Paediatrics forover a period of 20 months. Patients attending the Paediatrics out-patient department during the study period were selected based on inclusion criteria. They were studied for the prevalence of common nutritional deficiency diseases and anemias. Detailed clinical history and complete examination with specific emphasis on signs of nutritional deficiencies and anthropometry was done for all the cases. Grading of PEM was done based on WHO classification. Results: Moderate PEM was more common than severe PEM in both genders. Vitamin B complex, vitamin A and vitamin C deficiency were seen in 23.3%,9.0% and 1.1%children respectively. Anemias were more common in girls (34.7%) than in boys (14%). Among the comorbidities, nutritional deficiencies and anemias were common and were seen in 22.6% and 23% cases. Conclusion: Protein energy malnutrition is a very common problem in paediatric practice in India. Very often children with PEM present with comorbid conditions and multiple nutritional deficiencies and anemia. Regular health checkups can detect PEM at an earlier stage.
Keywords: PEM; Comorbidities in PEM; Vitamin A, C, B Complex Deficiency; Nutritional Deficiency. Corresponding Author
: Ch. Archana, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Kamineni Academy of Medical Sciences and Research Center, L.B.Nagar, Hyderabad, Telangana 500068, India.