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Ann Trop Paediatr. 1983 Dec;3(4):169-76.

Nutritional status and measles: a community study in Guinea-Bissau.


In an urban settlement area with 6217 inhabitants, 1188 children of 0-71 months of age were weighed and measured in December 1978. Fourteen per cent of those more than nine months old were underweight for age. In February 1979 a measles epidemic started in the area and reached its peak in April. At least 236 of the children initially weighed caught the disease and 59 died of measles. Forty-nine of these had not been underweight in December 1978. In the age interval 9-35 months there was a tendency for measles death to be associated with a relatively low nutritional status. In a geographically-defined sub-population of the studied children, mean weight velocity from December to May was lower in those who had measles in the period than in those who did not contract it. The observations confirm the negative impact of measles on nutritional status. On the other hand, they question the supreme importance given to pre-existing malnutrition in explaining the high measles mortality in West African communities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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