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Anales de la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas (Asunción)

versão impressa ISSN 1816-8949


SANABRIA, Marta Cristina  e  PERALTA, Luján Eumelia. Nutritional evolution in children under the age of 5 during hospital stay in a reference health care service. An. Fac. Cienc. Méd. (Asunción) [online]. 2021, vol.54, n.2, pp.33-42. ISSN 1816-8949.


Malnutrition in hospitalized children is a frequent morbidity and mortality cause. The prevalence of in-hospital malnutrition in pediatric patients in Latin America has a mean rate of 11% (ranging from 6% to 35%).


Evaluate the nutritional evolution in children under the age of 5 admitted to the Service of Clinics Pediatrics, FCM-UNA, assessing their first Vs. last day of hospitalization during the 2016 period.

Materials and methods:

The design of the study was observational descriptive, longitudinal in time. Variables: age, gender, place of origin, birth weight, gestational age, weight at first and last day of hospitalization, beginning of complementary feeding, mother schooling years, mother occupation, previous diseases, admittance diagnose, complications, days of hospitalization, enteral or parenteral feeding, days of fasting, evolution. Sample size: 361 patients under the age of 5 years. Nutritional status was evaluated using z values for Weight/Age, Weight/Height, Height /Age (WHO 2006, ANTHRO Software). Statistical aspects: parametric and nonparametric tests. Student’s t-test significant at p<0,05.


361 children were admitted. 51.5% males, mean age of 15 months (1-59 months). Were 56% infants, 21% toddlers and 23% pre-schoolers, 87% from a urban background., 26.6% had some degree of malnutrition and 10.5% suffered from chronic malnutrition; 40,% of patients presented some comorbidity. Malnutrition during hospital stay: 8.2%. Association of enteral feeding and weight gain was significant (p<0,05). None developed Kwashiorkor. No deceased cases were found.


The prevalence of malnutrition during hospitalization in children under the age of five years was 8.2% in a reference hospital, below the average among hospitals in Latin America.

Palavras-chave : Malnutrition; Child malnutrition; Severe acute malnutrition; Hospitalized children..

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