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AbstractBackgroundSevere acute malnutrition (SAM) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality and is disproportionately distributed mainly in developing countries. In Nigeria, the prevalence of SAM in the North-Western region of the country is significantly higher than the national average. In this study, we identified risk factors for SAM in North-Western Nigeria. Identifying such risk factors would be helpful in developing local preventive strategies and providing insights for broader SAM control programs in other high-burden country settings.MethodsWe performed post hoc data analysis, comparing baseline socio-demographic and household-level risk factors in a cohort of 1011 children aged between 6 and 59 months who either had SAM or were well-nourished children. We defined nutritional status using the World Health Organization (WHO) reference standards and investigated the association between SAM and our identified risk factors using multivariable logistic regression model.ResultsChildren aged between 12 and 23 months [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 2.95, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.99–4.38], household who reared domestic animals (AOR 1.94, 95% CI 1.40–2.69) and those from polygamous households (AOR 1.91, 95% CI 1.33–2.74) had significantly increased odds of developing SAM. Parental education and being on the household diet reduced the odds of having SAM.ConclusionsOur findings suggest the need to develop optimal complementary feeding nutrition programs and promote adult and general education in our community. Cultural and feeding practices in local polygamous households also need further investigation to understand the association between polygamy with SAM.

Original publication





Journal of Tropical Pediatrics


Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date





589 - 597