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Title of Paper: A longitudinal study on anthropometric and clinical development of Indian children adopted in Sweden.

Type of Paper: Original Article; Prospective Medical Evaluations and Parent-Report

Purpose: To describe the health and environmental conditions of children adopted from India into Sweden prior to and soon after arrival

Nutrition-Related Measures:

Participants: 114 children adopted from India into Sweden between the ages 3 and 72 months at arrival (average age was 15. 2 months). 77% of the children were adopted from orphanages, 22% from foster homes, and 1% from hospitals.

Methods: Families were recruited through five adoption organizations. Parents completed a questionnaire on their child’s social and health conditions in India. Physicians completed standard medical evaluations soon after arrival. The majority (86%) were completed within 2 weeks of arrival.

Nutrition Results:

Conclusions & Clinical Implications: There was a high incidence of stunting, wasting, and a combination of both stunting and wasting in children adopted from India at the time of arrival. There was also a high rate of low birth weight (81%). Children born early may be at a greater risk for malnutrition and need special nutritional considerations. This study found that birth weight was associated with both height and weight at the time of arrival. Anemia and parasitic infections were also common. Although not discussed in this paper, intestinal parasites could interfere with proper nutrient absorption and may increase the risk for both macronutrient (e. g. , physical growth) and micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) malnutrition. Motor delays at arrival were associated with stunting and anemia.

Limitations of the Nutritional Results: Pre-adoption information was only available for a few of the children in this study. Pre-adoption information was also reported by parents and the accuracy of the pre-adoption information available to the parents is unknown. Also, the only marker used to identify anemia was hemoglobin, and it was not reported whether the anemia was due to iron deficiency or another etiology. This study was also undertaken 20 years ago and may not represent the current health of similar children.

Reference: Proos LA, Hofvander Y, Wennqvist K, Tuvemo T. A longitudinal study on anthropometric and clinical development of Indian children adopted in Sweden. Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences. 1992; 97 (1): 79-92. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1523738


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