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Concurrent wasting and stunting among under-five children in the context of Ethiopia: A generalised mixed-effects modelling
Authors: Biniyam Sahiledengle, Kingsley E. Agho, Pammla Petrucka, Abera Kumie, Girma Beressa, Daniel Atlaw, Yohannes Tekalegn, Demisu Zenbaba, Fikreab Desta, and Lillian Mwanri
Source: Maternal and Child Nutrition, Volume 19. issue 2; DOI:
Topic(s): Child height
Children under five
Country: Africa
Published: FEB 2023
Abstract: Concurrent wasting and stunting (WaSt) is a condition where both wasting and stunting exist in a child at the same time. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of WaSt and to identify potential associated factors in Ethiopia. A total of 33,650 children aged between 0 and 59 months were included in the analysis from the four waves of the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey. A mixed-effects logistic regression model was used to identify the determinants of WaSt. The prevalence of WaSt was found to be 4.7% (95% confidence interval [CI]: (4.5–4.9)), with respectively 2.5% (95% CI: 2.1–3.1) and 4.9% (95% CI: 4.7–5.2) among children in urban and rural settings. Children: (i) in the age group 12–23 months (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 4.16, 95% CI: (3.20–5.42)) and 24–59 months (AOR: 3.08, 95% CI: (2.28–4.17)); (ii) who were perceived by their mothers to be smaller than normal at birth (AOR: 1.98, 95% CI: (1.57–2.50)); (iii) had diarrhoea (AOR: 1.38, 95% CI: (1.11–1.71)); and (iv) fever in the past 2 weeks (AOR: 1.38, 95% CI: (1.10–1.71)) reported higher odds of WaSt. Being a female child (AOR: 0.57, 95% CI: (0.48–0.69)), having received measles vaccination (AOR: 0.71, 95% CI: (0.55–0.89)), having a mother with a normal body mass index (18.5–24.9 kg/m2) (AOR: 0.57, 95% CI: (0.48–0.68)), having a wealthier household (AOR: 0.67, 95% CI: (0.50–0.90)), and living in rural setting (AOR: 0.49, 95% CI: (0.32–0.74)) were associated with reduced odds of WaSt. The prevalence of WaSt was high, with approximately 1 in 20 Ethiopian children suffering from the condition and needing a prompt response to minimize the poor health and developmental outcomes. Children perceived by their mother to be smaller than normal at birth, older children, and babies with diarrhoea and fever had higher odds of WaSt.