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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


SANCHEZ, Ricardo; ECHEVERRY, Jairo  and  PARDO, Rodrigo. The brachial and cephalic perimeters as indicators of poverty and acute diarrhea in children under five years in Bogotá. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2004, vol.6, n.2, pp. 167-182. ISSN 0124-0064.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the relationship between nutritional status and some factors related with poverty (acute diarrhea and overcrowding) in children less than 6 years of age in Bogotá METHODS: Acommunity-based, cross-sectional study, was conducted during 2000 in the urban area of Bogotá, using a household interview survey.3 081 adults having in their homes children under five years were interviewed. This number of participants was calculated to obtain a representative sample of the city for estimating a binomial population parameter. A multistage sampling was carried out. The sample size was reduced to 2 833 with the elimination of cases missing scores on dependent variables (DVs). Cephalic and brachial perimeters (continuous variables), used as a proxy of nutritional status (DVs), were selected as the main outcome measures. A 2 x 2 x 2 multivariate analysis of variance was performed on two DVs. Independent variables were overcrowding (as a measure of marginalization) and recent acute diarrhea. The analyses included sequential adjustment for nonorthogonality. RESULTS: DVs showed a low correlation (r=0.3) and a symmetric distribution. Evaluation of assumptions of linearity and multicollinearity were satisfactory. The omnibus test, using Wilk's criterion, showed that combined DVs were significantly affected by recent acute diarrhea (F=9.65 p=0.000), age less than 1 year (F=350.81 p=0.000) and the interaction acute diarrhea - over-crowding (F=6.25 p=0.000). In order to evaluate the impact of each main effect on the individual DVs, a Roy-Bargmann stepdown analysis was carried out. Homogeneity of regression was achieved for all components of the stepdown analysis. The brachial perimeter has a unique contribution to predict recent acute diarrhea (Roy-Bargmann F1,1=13.1 p=0.000). The cephalic perimeter has a unique contribution to predict acute diarrhea and over-crowding (Roy-Bargmann F1, 1 = 10.22 p=0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Recent acute diarrhea and overcrowding are related with poor nutritional status. Brachial and cephalic perimeters could be attractive indicators of different varieties of nutritional deficiency.

Keywords : Poverty; diarrhea; child; Bogotá.

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