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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2010 Feb;82(2):324-9. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2010.09-0365.

Association between nutritional status and severity of dengue infection in children in El Salvador.

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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 DannyThomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105-3678, USA.


Clinical observations and some studies suggest that dengue virus infection is more severe among children with better nutritional status. We examined the nutritional status of children in El Salvador and its relationship between this and the severity of dengue infection. Z-scores for weight-for-age, height-for-age, and body mass index (BMI)-for-age of children with dengue fever (66), dengue hemorrhagic fever (62), and healthy controls (74) were compared. There were no differences in weight-for-age or BMI-for-age Z-scores between the three groups. Children with dengue fever had a greater height-for-age than healthy controls but no significant differences in rates of stunting. There was no difference in height between children with dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever. Excess nutrition does not appear to be a risk factor for severe forms of dengue infection in El Salvador, nor does malnutrition appear to be predictive of good outcomes.

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