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Socioeconomic context of the community and chronic child malnutrition in Colombia
Authors: Osorio AM, Romero GA, Bonilla H, and Aguado LF
Source: Revista de Saúde Pública, 52:73; DOI: 10.11606/S1518-8787.2018052000394
Topic(s): Child health
Country: Latin American/Caribbean
Published: JUL 2018
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To analyze the influence of the socioeconomic context of the community on chronic child malnutrition in Colombia. METHODS: We estimated multilevel logistic models using data from the National Demographic and Health Survey in Colombia in 2010. The final sample included 11,448 children under the age of five gathered in 3,528 communities. In addition, we used the Principal Component Analysis with polychoric correlations for the construction of composed indicators of wealth, autonomy of the woman, and the use and access to the health system. RESULTS: The average level of community wealth was significantly and independently associated with chronic malnutrition in early childhood, more than the socioeconomic status of the household itself. At the individual and household level, the probability of chronic malnutrition was higher for children from mothers with low levels of autonomy and use and access to the health system, mothers who had their first child in adolescence, and mothers who live in homes in the lowest wealth quintiles. In contrast, children from mothers with a body mass index > 25 and with at least secondary education (versus no education) were less likely to suffer from chronic malnutrition. CONCLUSIONS: Research, programs, and interventions need to take into account the physical, economic, and social context of communities to contribute with the improvement of the nutritional status of early childhood in Colombia.