Document Type : original article


1 Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Research Center, Research Institute for Children’s Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Research Center, Research Institute for Children’s Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Nutrition, Ministry of Health and Education, Tehran, Iran.

4 Department of Nutrition, Ministry of Health and Education, Tehran, Iran

5 Pediatric Surgery Research Center, Research Institute for Children's Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Background: Malnutrition undermines the beneficial outcomes of clinical interventions and also increases hospital costs. Therefore, this study aimed to estimate the prevalence of malnutrition through a multicenter observational study at the time of admission and discharge in Iranian hospitalized children and adolescents.
Methods: The present cross-sectional study was performed on children and adolescents aged one month to 18 years from three Iranian public tertiary pediatric hospitals located in different cities of Iran. To determine the participants’ nutritional status, Z-score of the weight for height (for those with 1month to 5years of age) and Z-score of BMI (for ≥5 to 18-year-old patients) were calculated using the WHO growth standards. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 23.
Results: Information about 1499 patients was collected. At the time of admission, 64% of the participants had a good nutritional status, 15.5% were at high risk of wasting, 8.4% were wasted, and 12.1% were severely wasted. Among 295 malnourished patients, the nutritional status of 182 patients (63%) had been improved at the time of discharge. Also, 23% of all subjects with normal nutritional status at the admission time (85 participants), were at risk of malnutrition at discharge. The prevalence of moderate and severe malnutrition at the discharge time was about 20%.
Conclusion: More than one-third of the hospitalized children had moderate or severe malnutrition or were at high risk. Although the prevalence of malnutrition decreased somewhat during hospitalization, some children were not malnourished at the time of admission and were malnourished at discharge.


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