Evaluation of Anthropometric and Biochemical Status in Children with Nutritional Deficiency

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Objective: To evaluate the anthropometric and biochemical status of children with nutritional deficiency. Methods: We have conducted a prospective study on 226 children admitted in Pediatric Clinic I, divided into two groups: one group of 49 children with nutritional deficiency (body-mass-index < -2SD) and one control group (177 children). We have followed demographic data, anthropometric indices evaluated as standard deviations (weight, height, middle upper-arm circumference, tricipital skinfold), biochemical proteic status (Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 IGF-1, albumin, total proteins). We also followed parameters of general nutritional biochemistry. Results: The mean age for underweight children was 5.8 years, lower than in the control group. The weight of the nutritional-deficient group was significantly lower than in the control group, unlike the height (p <0.001). We have also found significant differences in body-mass-index, middle upper-arm circumference and tricipital skinfold, all of them with low SDs in children with nutritional deficiency. Regarding the biochemical markers, we have found significantly higher values of transaminases (p <0.001) and lower IGF-1 (p = 0.02) and total proteins (p = 0.013) in nutritional-deficient group. Most IGF-1 values were in normal range in both groups, but with a higher percent of low values in nutritional deficient children (37.5% vs 14.2%, p = 0.0046). There were no significant differences in height, albumin, cholesterol, triglyceride and glucose levels between the two groups. Conclusions: The anthropometric measurements are the most precise methods in evaluating the nutritional status. Among the studied biochemical markers, IGF-1, total proteins and transaminases are correlated with nutritional deficiencies

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