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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


BENIGNA, Maria José Cariri; DRICOT, Jean  and  D'ANS, Christiane Dricot. Growth and health status of children from 0 to 11 years of age in Paraíba, North-East Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1987, vol.21, n.6, pp.480-489. ISSN 1518-8787.

Growth in terms of weight/age and height/age of 7,990 children from 0 to 11 years of age, randomly selected and measured in the State of Paraíba, North-East Brazil, in 1981 and 1982, is compared with other data collected in a global study made in the North-East during 1974-1975 and with national and international references. The results show a very remarkable deficit in growth especially when compared to the international references; clear differences are manifest at the age of 11 years: 8 to 9 kilos in weight and 11 centimeters in height, according to sex. The observed growth deficits could be due to the great drought of 1978-83, particularly in regard to the deficit of growth in weight according to age. However the existence of profunder and more insidious problems acting throughout the process of growth, become evident as chronic malnutrition. Thus factors of a structural and socioeconomic order are involved, as is clear from the fact that over the last ten years they have deteriorated as demonstrated by the alterations in the growth model, expressed in the aggravation of the nutritional situation of the region.

Keywords : Nutritional status; Growth; Weight-age; Body height; Age factors; Protein-calorie malnutrition; Socioeconomic factors.

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