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Arch Iran Med. 2018 Jul 1;21(7):302-309.

Assessing the Prevalence and Treatment of Malnutrition in Hospitalized Children in Mofid Children's Hospital During 2015-2016.

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Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Research Center, Research Institute for Children Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Clinical Research Development Center of Mofid Children's Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Agriculture, Food, and Nutritional Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
Master Candidate in Medical Education, School of Medical Education,, Mofid Children's Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Pediatrics, Amirkola Children's Hospital, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Mazandaran, Iran.
Department of Pulmonology, Mofid Children's Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics, Uppsala, Sweden.



Malnutrition in hospitalized patients causes problems in treatment and increases hospitalization duration. The aim of this research was to determine the prevalence of malnutrition in hospitalized children.


Children aged 1 month to 18 years (n = 1186) who were admitted to medical and surgery wards of Mofid children's hospital from November 2015 to February 2016, entered the study. We measured different anthropometric variables in patients with malnutrition. Also, nutritional counseling was performed and three months follow-up was done.


Patient data were registered in questionnaires particularly for children 2 years old and less. 597 children under 2 years of age and 607 children over two years entered the study. The data analysis was done by SPSS version 22.0 (Chicago, IL, USA). The t test inferential method was used in comparing variables. P values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant. Based on the body mass index (BMI) Z score, and in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) cut-off, among children over 2 years, 9% were diagnosed as overweight or obese, 54% were within the normal range and 37% were underweight at time of admission. In the underweight group, 43% were mildly, 21.2% were moderately and 35.8% were severely underweight. Based on the weight for length Z score in patients less than 2 years of age at time of admission, 6% were overweight, 60% were in normal range and 34% were underweight. Among children with malnutrition, 21% had mild, 3.0% had moderate and 10% had severe malnutrition. No significant meaningful relation was found between prevalence of malnutrition and severity of illness. In the moderate to severe undernutrition group, nutritionist counseling was done. Comparison of BMI and weight, before and after admission (the baseline and the follow up visits), was done by means of repeated measurements. Comparison of the patient's weight at time of admission with weight at 1, 2 and 3 months after the first nutritional consultation showed statistically meaningful difference (P value < 0.05).


Growth indices need to be evaluated in every hospitalized child. Nutritional consultation is useful in children with malnutrition. The main purpose of early diagnosis of malnutrition is to prevent its progression, and also to design a useful, applicable and cost-effective nutritional intervention for malnutrition treatment.


Children; Hospitalization; Malnutrition; Nutritional intervention

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