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Malnutrition among women in sub-Saharan Africa: rural-urban disparity.
Authors: Uthman OA, Aremu O.
Source: Rural and Remote Health, 2008; 8(2):931.
Topic(s): Inequality
Women's health
Country: More than one region
  Multiple Regions
Published: JUN 2008
Abstract: Introduction: Malnutrition is a serious public health problem, particularly in developing countries, linked to a substantial increase in the risk of mortality and morbidity. Women and young children are most often affected. Rural disadvantage is a known factor, but little attention has been paid to rural-urban disparity among women. To provide a reliable source of information for policymakers, the current study used nationally representative data from 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa to update knowledge about the prevalence malnutrition and its rural-urban disparities among women. The data sources were the demographic and health surveys of 26 countries conducted between 1995 and 2006. Methods: The methods included meta-analysis, meta-regression, sub-group and sensitivity. Results: Overall, rural women were 68% more likely to be malnourished compared with their urban counterparts. In the metaregression analysis, sub-region, sample size, and the year the study was conducted explained the observed heterogeneity. Conclusions: This meta-analysis provided usable data for women in sub-Saharan Africa. The magnitude of rural-urban malnutrition disparity revealed provides a baseline that will be of assistance to clinicians, researchers, and policy-makers in the detection, prevention and treatment of malnutrition among rural women.