Objective: To study the status of malnutrition and its influencing factors in children less than 5 years of age in poor areas of China in 2009.
Methods: Multistage stratified random cluster sampling method used in the national survey was performed. The subjects of the study were 7818 children less than 5 years of age in poor areas. The contents of the investigation included questionnaire survey, anthropometric measurement, biochemical tests and dietary survey. Z-scores were calculated according to WHO growth standards. The prevalence of malnutrition was calculated hy WHO Anthro V 3. 2. 2 software. Data processing and multiple factors analysis were finished hy non condition logistic regression in software SAS 9.12.
Results: The prevalence of stunting, underweight and wasting in children under 5 year-old in poor areas of China were 15.9%, 7.8% and 3.7% respectively. Excluding other influencing factors, the results suggested that the low birth weight (OR = 1.975, 95% CI = 1.515 -2.575), household income less than 2000 Yuan per capita per year (OR = 1.813, 95% CI = 1.364 -2.409), not cared by father/mother (OR = 1.190, 95% CI = 1.022 - 1.387) and no sanitary drinking water (OR = 1.282, 95% CI = 1.120 - 1.466) are the most important factors making the child more likely to become malnutrition. Compared to the child whose mother was professional personnel, cadre or army-woman, the child whose mother was farmer (OR = 5.384, 95% CI = 2.490 - 11.642), migrant worker (OR = 4.244, 95% CI 1.953 - 9.222) , rural handicraft worker or individual-owned businesswoman (OR = 4. 872, 95% CI = 2.169 - 10.947) and household wife (OR = 5.331, 95% CI = 2.438 - 11.654) was easy to become malnutrition. The nearest medical institution at a distance of not more than 1 km is a protective factor for malnutrition (OR = 1.246, 95% CI = 1.100 -1.411). The risk of malnutrition would be increased when food supplements were started from the 9th month after birth (OR = 1.194, 95% CI = 1.016 - 1.403).
Conclusion: Malnutrition in children under 5 year-old in poor areas of China should not be ignored. Influencing factors are still existing and changing. Comprehensive improvement will be the effective measure for changing the nutritional status of children.