Weight-for-age as an index of risk of death in children

Lancet. 1978 Jun 10;1(8076):1247-50. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(78)92478-9.


Between April, 1968, and May, 1973, the Department of International Health of Johns Hopkins University studied the effects of the interaction of nutrition and infection in fourteen villages of Punjab, North India. Serial anthropometric measurements (used as index of nutritional status) and vital statistics of almost 3000 children aged 1-36 months showed that, on average, child mortality doubled with each 10% decline below 80% of the Harvard weight median. The relation between season and mortality showed that mortality-rates were highest just before and during the main (wheat) harvest, reflecting the effects of food scarcity, relative child neglect, and climate on child deaths among those already underweight.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Weight
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • India
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Nutrition Disorders / etiology
  • Nutrition Disorders / mortality*
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Risk
  • Rural Health
  • Seasons
  • Time Factors