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Title of Paper: Medical evaluation of internationally adopted children.

Type of Paper: Original Article; Prospective Medical Evaluations

Purpose: To create standardized recommendations for medical evaluations in internationally adopted children.

Nutritional Component: Nutrition-related measures included:

Participants: 293 internationally adopted children. The mean age was 13 months (the range was 1 month to 14 years). Children were adopted from the following regions: 41% from Korea, 31% from Central or South America, 18% from India, 7% from Haiti, and 3% from other regions.

Methods: Medical examinations were completed at an international adoption clinic soon after arrival into the U. S. (the majority were completed within one month of arrival).

Nutrition Results:

Conclusions & Clinical Implications: Intestinal parasites were common, and 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. Intestinal parasites were associated with being adopted from regions other than Korea, older age at arrival, and lower weight for age. Approximately 6% had anemia, and rickets was rare (only one child had rickets).

Limitations of the Nutritional Results: 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: Hostetter MK, Iverson S, Thomas W, McKenzie D, Dole K, Johnson DE. Medical evaluation of internationally adopted children. New England Journal of Medicine. 1991; 325 (7) : 479-485. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1649404

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