• Efficacy of a Therapeutic Feeding Centre Evaluated During Hospitalization and a Follow-up Period, Tahoua, Niger, 1987-1988.

      Pécoul, B; Soutif, C; Hounkpevi, M; Ducos, M; Epicentre, Paris, France. (Maney Publilshing, 1992)
      Between 1 February 1987 and 31 May 1988 an evaluation of a nutritional rehabilitation centre in Tahoua, Niger was conducted. Among the 381 children admitted to the centre, 61 (16%) had kwashiorkor and 347 (91.3%) were aged between 6 and 29 months. Recovery and death rates were 46.2% and 14.4%, respectively. The median duration of stay until recovery was 21 days. Sixty-two per cent of deaths occurred during the 1st week of hospitalization. Three risk factors for death were identified by the study: patients with kwashiorkor with a weight/height (W/H) less than -3 SD, those with marasmus with a W/H less than -5 SD, and those dehydrated with marasmus. Among children included in the follow-up study after leaving the centre, the risk of dying during the follow-up period among children who absconded was 7.1 times higher than the risk observed among children who recovered. Among the children who recovered, no relapse was observed 3-18 months after they left the centre. This investigation indicates the importance of intensive therapeutic feeding centres in areas with a high prevalence of malnutrition.
    • Estimates of the duration of untreated acute malnutrition in children from Niger.

      Isanaka, S; Grais, R; Briend, A; Checchi, F; Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA. sisanaka@hsph.harvard.edu (2011-04-15)
      Expected incidence of acute malnutrition is the most appropriate measure for projecting the needs of a nutritional treatment program over time in terms of staffing, food, and other treatments, but direct estimation of incidence is rarely feasible at the onset of an intervention. While incidence may be approximated as prevalence/average duration, ethical constraints preclude measurement of the duration of acute malnutrition in the absence of treatment. The authors used a compartmental model to estimate the duration of untreated moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in children aged 6-60 months. The model was informed by data from a community-based cohort of children in Niger followed from August 2006 to March 2007. Maximum likelihood estimates for the duration of untreated MAM, defined by weight-for-height z score and middle upper arm circumference, were 75-81 days and 101-116 days, respectively. The duration of untreated SAM, defined by weight-for-height z score, was 45 days. The duration of untreated MAM appears to have been shorter among children aged 6-35 months compared with those aged 36-60 months. Such estimates of the duration, and thus incidence, of untreated malnutrition can be used to improve projections of program needs and estimates of the global burden of acute malnutrition.
    • Whole blood NAD and NADP concentrations are not depressed in subjects with clinical pellagra

      Creeke, P I; Dibari, F; Cheung, E; van den Briel, T; Kyroussis, E; Seal, A J; Centre for International Health and Development, Institute of Child Health, London, UK; World Food Programme, Luanda, Angola; World Food Programme, Rome, Italy; Medecins sans Frontieres-Belgium, Kuito, Angola (2007-09-01)
      Population surveys for niacin deficiency are normally based on clinical signs or on biochemical measurements of urinary niacin metabolites. Status may also be determined by measurement of whole blood NAD and NADP concentrations. To compare these methods, whole blood samples and spot urine samples were collected from healthy subjects (n = 2) consuming a western diet, from patients (n = 34) diagnosed with pellagra and attending a pellagra clinic in Kuito (central Angola, where niacin deficiency is endemic), and from female community control subjects (n = 107) who had no clinical signs of pellagra. Whole blood NAD and NADP concentrations were measured by microtiter plate-based enzymatic assays and the niacin urinary metabolites 1-methyl-2-pyridone-5-carboxamide (2-PYR) and 1-methylnicotinamide (1-MN) by HPLC. In healthy volunteers, inter- and intra-day variations for NAD and NADP concentrations were much lower than for the urinary metabolites, suggesting a more stable measure of status. However, whole blood concentrations of NAD and NADP or the NAD:NADP ratio were not significantly depressed in clinical pellagra. In contrast, the concentrations of 2-PYR and 1-MN, expressed relative to either creatinine or osmolality, were lower in pellagra patients and markedly higher following treatment. The use of the combined cut-offs (2-PYR <3.0 micromol/mmol creatinine and 1-MN <1.3 micromol/mmol creatinine) gave a sensitivity of 91% and specificity of 72%. In conclusion, whole blood NAD and NADP concentrations gave an erroneously low estimate of niacin deficiency. In contrast, spot urine sample 2-PYR and 1-MN concentrations, relative to creatinine, were a sensitive and specific measure of deficiency.