Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Prescott says online option for access to court system can help equalize justice

Hall et al find mixed correlations between religious affiliation and views on reproductive health coverage among women

Bloome comments on Moynihan's controversial 1965 call for national action to strengthen black families

Highlights

U-M ranked #1 in Sociology of Population by USN&WR's "Best Graduate Schools"

PAA 2015 Annual Meeting: Preliminary program and list of UM participants

ISR addition wins LEED Gold Certification

PSC Fall 2014 Newsletter now available

Next Brown Bag

Mon, March 23
Lundberg, State Care of the Elderly & Labor Supply of Adult Children

Stunting Is Characterized by Chronic Inflammation in Zimbabwean Infants

Publication Abstract

Pendergast, Andrew J., Sandra Rukobo, Bernard Chasekwa, Kuda Mutasa, Robert Ntozini, Mduduzi N. N. Mbuya, Andrew David Jones, Lawrence H. Moulton, Rebecca J. Stolzfus, and Jean H. Humphrey. 2014. "Stunting Is Characterized by Chronic Inflammation in Zimbabwean Infants." PLoS ONE, 9(2): e86928.

Background: Stunting affects one-third of children in developing countries, but the causes remain unclear. We hypothesized that enteropathy leads to low-grade inflammation, which suppresses the growth hormone-IGF axis and mediates stunting.

Methods: We conducted a case-control study of 202 HIV-unexposed Zimbabwean infants who were stunted (height-for-age Z-score (HAZ) <−2; cases) or non-stunted (HAZ >−0.5; controls) at 18 months. We measured biomarkers of intestinal damage (I-FABP), inflammation (CRP, AGP, IL-6) and growth hormone-IGF axis (IGF-1, IGFBP3) in infant plasma at 6 weeks and 3, 6, 12 and 18 months, and in paired maternal-infant plasma at birth. Adjusted mean differences between biomarkers were estimated using regression models. Multivariate odds ratios of stunting were estimated by logistic regression.

Results: At birth, cases were shorter (median (IQR) HAZ −1.00 (−1.53, −0.08) vs 0.03 (−0.57, 0.62,); P<0.001) than controls and their mothers had lower levels of IGF-1 (adjusted mean difference (95%CI) −21.4 (−39.8, −3.1) ng/mL). From 6 weeks to 12 months of age, levels of CRP and AGP were consistently higher and IGF-1 and IGFBP3 lower in cases versus controls; IGF-1 correlated inversely with inflammatory markers at all time-points. I-FABP increased between 3–12 months, indicating extensive intestinal damage during infancy, which was similar in cases and controls. In multivariate analysis, higher log10 levels of CRP (aOR 3.06 (95%CI 1.34, 6.99); P = 0.008) and AGP (aOR 7.87 (95%CI 0.74, 83.74); P = 0.087) during infancy were associated with stunting. There were no associations between levels of I-FABP, IL-6, sCD14 or EndoCAb and stunting.

Conclusions: Stunting began in utero and was associated with low maternal IGF-1 levels at birth. Inflammatory markers were higher in cases than controls from 6 weeks of age and were associated with lower levels of IGF-1 throughout infancy. Higher levels of CRP and AGP during infancy were associated with stunting. These findings suggest that an extensive enteropathy occurs during infancy and that low-grade chronic inflammation may impair infant growth.

DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0086928 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3928146. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: Zimbabwe.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next