Predicting longitudinal growth curves of height and weight using ecological factors for children with and without early growth deficiency.
Growth curve models were used to examine the effect of genetic and ecological factors on changes in height and weight of 225 children from low income, urban families who were assessed up to eight times in the first 6 y of life. Children with early growth deficiency [failure to thrive (FTT)] (n = 127) and a community sample of children without growth deficiency (n = 98) were examined to evaluate how genetic, child and family characteristics influenced growth. Children of taller and heavier parents, who were recruited at younger ages and did not have a history of growth deficiency, had accelerated growth from recruitment through age 6 y. In addition, increases in height were associated with better health, less difficult temperament, nurturant mothers and female gender; increases in weight were associated with better health. Children with a history of growth deficiency demonstrated slower rates of growth than children in the community group without a history of growth deficiency. In the community group, changes in children's height and weight were related to maternal perceptions of health and temperament and maternal nurturance during feeding, whereas in the FTT group, maternal perceptions and behavior were not in synchrony with children's growth. These findings suggest that, in addition to genetic factors, growth is dependent on a nurturant and sensitive caregiving system. Interventions to promote growth should consider child and family characteristics, including maternal perceptions of children's health and temperament and maternal mealtime behavior. (+info)
Caregiver behaviors and resources influence child height-for-age in rural Chad.
The purpose of this study was to identify caregiver characteristics that influence child nutritional status in rural Chad, when controlling for socioeconomic factors. Variables were classified according to the categories of a UNICEF model of care: caregiving behaviors, household food security, food and economic resources and resources for care and health resources. Sixty-four households with 98 children from ages 12 to 71 mo were part of this study. Caregivers were interviewed to collect information on number of pregnancies, child feeding and health practices, influence on decisions regarding child health and feeding, overall satisfaction with life, social support, workload, income, use of income, and household food expenditures and consumption. Household heads were questioned about household food production and other economic resources. Caregiver and household variables were classified as two sets of variables, and separate regression models were run for each of the two sets. Significant predictors of height-for-age were then combined in the same regression model. Caregiver influence on child-feeding decisions, level of satisfaction with life, willingness to seek advice during child illnesses, and the number of individuals available to assist with domestic tasks were the caregiver factors associated with children's height-for-age. Socioeconomic factors associated with children's height-for-age were the amount of harvested cereals, the sources of household income and the household being monogamous. When the caregiver and household socioeconomic factors were combined in the same model, they explained 54% of the variance in children's height-for-age, and their regression coefficients did not change or only slightly increased, except for caregiver's propensity to seek advice during child illnesses, which was no longer significant. These results indicate that caregiver characteristics influence children's nutritional status, even while controlling for the socioeconomic status of the household. (+info)
Influence of maternal ethnicity on infant mortality in Chicago, 1989-1996.
This study compared infant mortality rates between large ethnic groups in Chicago from 1989-1996. Infant mortality information about ethnic groups was compared using data from annual reports published by the Epidemiology Program, Department of Public Health, City of Chicago and vital statistics documents in Illinois, which include information on ethnicity. Chi-squared analysis was used to evaluate the differences between the proportions. A P value of < .05 was considered significant. During the study period, there were 461,974 births and 6407 infant deaths in Chicago. African Americans contributed 212,924 (46.1%) births and 4387 (68.5%) deaths; Hispanics 132,787 (28.7%) births and 1166 (18.2%) deaths; and whites 99,532 (21.6%) births and 780 (12.2%) infant deaths. Compared with the other groups. African Americans suffered a twofold increased mortality (P < .00001) for five of the six most common causes of infant mortality. Deaths from congenital malformations, although significant, were not excessively increased among African Americans (P = .014). Hispanics demonstrated a higher mortality rate than whites (P = .01), especially for postnatal mortality and respiratory distress syndrome. These data confirm excessive infant mortality among African Americans. Further studies are needed to evaluate the apparent low mortality among some Hispanics compared with the other groups studied. (+info)
Recurrence of Marfan syndrome as a result of parental germ-line mosaicism for an FBN1 mutation.
Mutations in the FBN1 gene cause Marfan syndrome (MFS), a dominantly inherited connective tissue disease. Almost all the identified FBN1mutations have been family specific, and the rate of new mutations is high. We report here a de novo FBN1mutation that was identified in two sisters with MFS born to clinically unaffected parents. The paternity and maternity were unequivocally confirmed by genotyping. Although one of the parents had to be an obligatory carrier for the mutation, we could not detect the mutation in the leukocyte DNA of either parent. To identify which parent was a mosaic for the mutation we analyzed several tissues from both parents, with a quantitative and sensitive solid-phase minisequencing method. The mutation was not, however, detectable in any of the analyzed tissues. Although the mutation could not be identified in a sperm sample from the father or in samples of multiple tissue from the mother, we concluded that the mother was the likely mosaic parent and that the mutation must have occurred during the early development of her germ-line cells. Mosaicism confined to germ-line cells has rarely been reported, and this report of mosaicism for the FBN1 mutation in MFS represents an important case, in light of the evaluation of the recurrence risk in genetic counseling of families with MFS. (+info)
The "thermolabile" variant of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase and neural tube defects: An evaluation of genetic risk and the relative importance of the genotypes of the embryo and the mother.
Recent reports have implicated the "thermolabile" (T) variant of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) in the causation of folate-dependent neural tube defects (NTDs). We report herein the largest genetic study of NTD cases (n=271) and families (n=218) to date, establishing that, in Ireland, the "TT" genotype is found in 18.8% of cases versus 8.3% of controls (odds ratio 2.57; confidence interval [CI] 1.48-4.45; P=.0005). The maternal and paternal TT genotypes have intermediate frequencies of 13.8% and 11.9%, respectively, indicating that the predominant MTHFR-related genetic effect acts via the TT genotype of the developing embryo. Analysis of the 218 family triads of mother, father, and affected child with log-linear models supports this interpretation, providing significant evidence that the case TT genotype is associated with NTDs (P=.02) but no evidence of a maternal TT genotypic effect (P=. 83). The log-linear model predicted that the risk of NTDs conferred by the case TT genotype is 1.61 (CI 1.06-2.46), consistent with the paramount importance of the case TT genotype in determining risk. There is no compelling evidence for more than a modest additional risk conferred by a maternal TT genotype. These results favor a biological model of MTHFR-related NTD pathogenesis in which suboptimal maternal folate status imposes biochemical stress on the developing embryo, a stress it is ill-equipped to tolerate if it has a TT genotype. (+info)
Acute childhood diarrhoea and maternal time allocation in the northern central Sierra of Peru.
Interventions to improve child health depend, at least implicitly, on changing maternal knowledge and behaviour and a reallocation of maternal time. There have been few studies, however, of the time cost involved in the adoption of new health technologies and even fewer that examine changes in maternal activities in response to child illness. The present study examines maternal daytime activities and investigates changes that occur when children are ill. We examine the impact of acute childhood diarrhoea episodes on the activity patterns of the mother/caretaker in this setting. The results show that mothers alter their usual activity patterns only slightly in response to acute diarrhoea episodes in their children. They continue to perform the same variety of activities as when the children are healthy, although they are more likely to perform them with the child 'carried' on their back. There is some indication that diarrhoea perceived to be more severe did result in the mother acting as caretaker more frequently. These findings have important implications for health interventions that depend on changing the amount of maternal or caretaker time spent for child health technologies, but the implications may vary depending on the reasons for the observed lack of changes in caretaker activities. (+info)
Factors affecting acceptance of immunization among children in rural Bangladesh.
This paper uses the Bangladesh Fertility Survey 1989 data to identify the factors affecting acceptance of immunization among children in rural Bangladesh. Acceptance of DPT, measles and BCG vaccinations were the dependent variables. The independent variables included proximity to health facilities, frequency of visit by health worker, respondent's mobility, media exposure, education, age, economic status of household, region of residence, and gender of child. Logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the net effects of the variables in addition to univariate analysis. Among the independent variables, proximity to health facility, frequency of health worker's visit, mother's mobility, education, age, gender of child, ownership of radio, economic condition of household, and region of residence showed statistically significant association with acceptance of immunization. The effect of frequency of health worker's visit was dependent on region of residence, possession of radio, and mother's education. The effect of mother's ability to visit health centre alone was also dependent on ownership of radio, economic condition of household, and mother's education. (+info)
Immunization determinants in the eastern region of Ghana.
A study of the immunization determinants of children aged 12 to 18 months was conducted in 1991 in the Eastern Region of Ghana, using structured interviews of mothers and fathers. The completion of immunization schedules by one year, among the 294 children, was positively associated (P < 0.005) with the town of residence of the child and mother, the ability of the mother to speak English, the target child having been treated for illness at the local hospital, the child's mother having given birth to less than 5 children, the possession of a sewing machine by the mother, and the birth of the child in the current town of residence. Significantly higher immunization coverage levels were achieved where the Under Fives' Clinic was an affordable and acceptable service, integrating preventive and curative care, and where measures were implemented by the community to increase attendance levels at the Clinic. This was achieved among a target group who were otherwise at a relatively high risk of failing to complete immunization schedules on-time. (+info)