, Volume 171, Issue 8, pp 1185-1191
Date: 22 Feb 2012

Growth, nutritional status, and signs of rickets in 0–5-year-old children in a Kashin–Beck disease endemic area of Central Tibet

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In order to describe the growth of 0–5-year-old Tibetan children living in a Kashin–Beck disease (KBD) endemic rural area and to examine the relationship between anthropometric indicators and clinical signs of rickets, we analyzed the baseline data of a cohort of 668 children enrolled in a prospective program of calcium and vitamin D supplementation. Tibetan children suffer from growth retardation. Z score of weight-for-age, height-for-age, weight-for-height was below −2 in 32.5%, 27.7%, and 12.1% of the children, respectively. Clinical signs of severe rickets are highly prevalent. Underweight, stunting, and clinical rickets increases with age. Prevalence of malnutrition was higher in the presence of signs of rickets. The proportion of children with a head circumference Z score < -2 was lowest when signs of rickets were observed. Conclusion: Stunting and underweight are frequent and probably associated with rickets.