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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


LEI, Doris Lucia Martini et al. Linear growth retardation and social factors among schoolchildren from the city of Osasco, São Paulo, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1997, vol.13, n.2, pp.277-283. ISSN 1678-4464.

Cases and controls were selected for this retrospective investigation of the social determinants of growth retardation, from a Height Census carried out in the 1989 school year,involving children attending the first grade of all public and private schools in Osasco (in the Greater Metropolitan Area of São Paulo, Brazil). The cases, totalling 125 children entering school aged 7-8 years old, were characterized by a height-for-age index below -2 z score of the NCHS/WHO reference. The controls, totalling 139 children entering school at the same age, were characterized by a height-for-age index above -1 z score. Socioeconomíc variables such as family income, head-of-family's level of schooling, mother's schooling, environmental sanitation, and housing conditions were significant factors associated with the stunting process. Risk of linear growth retardation tended to be higher with lower social class (odds ratio = 7.3 for sub-proletariat vs. petit bourgeois; p < 0,001 for overall trend), suggesting the biological impact of Brazil's economic slowdown during the 1980s.

Keywords : Growth; Nutritional Dwarfism; Nutrition; Child Health; Epidemiology.

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