Andati_Association Between Helicobacter Pylori Infection And Nutritional Status Of Children Aged 1 To 5 Years At Kenyatta National Hospital.
ABSTRACT Introduction and background information: H.Pylori is the most common chronic bacterial infection in humans worldwide with 50% of the world’s population is thought to be infected. The infection is mostly acquired before 10 years of age and persists for decades with a very low rate of spontaneous recovery. The main route of transmission is person to person through either faeco-oral or oral-oral route. The infection causes hypochlohydria. The impaired gastric acid production interferes with digestion and absorption of nutrients. Increased metabolic requirement associated with the infection affects the nutritional status in children. H. pylori infection has been thought to be associated with slower growth in children. The prevalences of H. pylori and undernutrition in Kenyan children are high. The current treatment guidelines indicate that H.pylori infection should only be treated in patients who are symptomatic. There are many asymptomatic children living with H. pylori infection for a long time. There is, therefore, a need to find out the effect of this chronic infection with H. pylori on height and weight of children. Objective: The main aim of this study was to determine the association between H. pylori infection and the nutritional status among the 1-5-year-old children attending outpatient clinic at Kenyatta National Hospital. Study population: The study population included 1-5- year-old children attending the paediatric emergency clinic at Kenyatta National Hospital. Methodology: This was a hospital based cross sectional study. The study was carried out after obtaining informed consent from the parent/care taker who then provided information on the age of the child, socioeconomic status and any recent history of antibiotic use. A fresh stool sample was taken from each child and stool H.pylori antigen test done. Weight, height and MUAC of all children involved in the study were measured using standard methods. Data analysis: The outcome measures of interest were weight, height and MUAC and the exposure of interest was H.pylori infection. These measures were compared between infected and uninfected children using the statistical programme for social sciences (SPSS) version 18 software. Age was stratified to allow for comparison because all the outcomes were age dependent.
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