Mortality Among Children Under Five Years Admitted For Routine Care Of Severe Acute Malnutrition: A Prospective Cohort Study From Kampala, Uganda
Kiggundu, John Baptist
Tumwine, James K.
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Mortality among children under 5 years of age admitted to malnutrition units in sub-Saharan Africa remains high. The burden of HIV infection, a major risk factor for mortality among patients with severe acute malnutrition (SAM), has reduced due to concerted prevention and treatment strategies. None the less, anecdotal reports from the malnutrition unit at Uganda’s National Referral Hospital (NRH) indicate that there is high mortality among patients with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in routine care. Uganda has recently adopted the revised World Health Organization (WHO) treatment guidelines for SAM to improve outcomes. The mortality among children with SAM in routine care has not been recently elucidated. We report the magnitude and factors associated with mortality among children under 5 years of age admitted to the NRH for routine care of SAM.This was a cohort study of all severely malnourished children admitted to the NRH between June and October 2017. The primary outcome was two-week mortality. Mortality was calculated using simple proportions and Cox regression analysis was used to determine factors associated with time to mortality. Data was entered into Epidata and analysed using Stata v14.Two-hundred-sixty (98.5%) children: 59.6% male; mean age 14.4 (SD 9.4) months, completed two weeks of follow-up. Of these, 25.2% (95% CI 19.9–30.4%) died. In-hospital mortality was 20.7% (95% CI15.9–25.6%). The prevalence of HIV infection was 12.2%. Factors associated with mortality included: positive HIV status (AHR 2.2, (95% CI; 1.2–4.2), p = 0.014), bacteraemia (AHR 9 (95% CI 3.4–23.0), p < 0.001, and low glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), AHR 3.2; (95% CI 1.7–6.3), p = 0.001).A 25% mortality among children with severe malnutrition remains unacceptably high despite significant reduction in HIV prevalence. Children with SAM who are HIV infected, have eGFR below 60 mL/min/1.73m2 or have bacteraemia, are more likely to die. Further studies to explore the relationship between eGFR and mortality among children with SAM are needed. Studies to establish efficacious antibiotics are urgently required to inform treatment guidelines for children with SAM.
- Medical and Health Sciences