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Title of Paper: Health of children adopted from Ethiopia

Type of Paper: Original Article; Medical Chart Review

Purpose: To describe the health & development of children adopted from Ethiopia or Eritrea at the time of arrival.

Nutrition-Related Measures:

Participants: 50 children adopted from Ethiopia or Eritrea between the ages of 3 months and 15 years (62% were younger than 4 years old) who were seen at one international adoption clinic.

Methods: Chart review of medical evaluations that had been completed soon after arrival.

Nutrition Results:

Conclusions & Clinical Implications: Children adopted from Ethiopia had better growth compared to children adopted from China, Guatemala, or Russia who were seen in the same clinic. The authors speculate that one reason for this difference is that many of the children from Ethiopia spend less time in institutional care and more time with families (and often are breast-fed) compared to children adopted from other countries. There may also be differences in institutional quality or ethnic growth differences. There was very little anemia or thyroid function abnormalities in children adopted from Ethiopia.

Limitations of the Nutritional Results: Physical growth suppression may have been underestimated in this study due to uncertain ages of many of the children. Ages were often assigned based on the child’s growth and development. If children have either growth or developmental delays, a younger age may be assigned than their actual age leading to an underestimation of growth suppression. Screening for anemia and iron deficiency was limited. The only marker used to identify anemia was hematocrit, and it was not reported whether the anemia was due to iron deficiency or another etiology.

Reference: Miller L, Tseng B, Tirella L, Chan W, Feig E. Health of children adopted from Ethiopia. Maternal & Child Health Journal. 2008; 12: 599-605. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17712613


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