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Nutrients 2016, 8(2), 67; doi:10.3390/nu8020067

Iron-Folic Acid Supplementation During Pregnancy Reduces the Risk of Stunting in Children Less Than 2 Years of Age: A Retrospective Cohort Study from Nepal

1
United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), Diplomatic Enclave, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
2
Sydney School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney 2006, Australia
3
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Regional Office for South Asia, Kathmandu 5815, Nepal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 December 2015 / Revised: 14 January 2016 / Accepted: 18 January 2016 / Published: 27 January 2016
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Abstract

The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of antenatal iron-folic acid (IFA) supplementation on child stunting in Nepalese children age <2 years. A retrospective cohort study design was used, in which a pooled cohort of 5235 most recent live births 2 years prior to interview from three Nepal Demographic and Health Surveys (2001, 2006 and 2011) was analysed. The primary outcome was stunting in children age <2 years. The main exposure variable was antenatal IFA supplementation. Multivariate Poisson regression analysis was performed. In our sample, 31% and 10% of Nepalese children age <2 years were stunted and severely stunted, respectively. The adjusted relative risk of being stunted was 14% lower in children whose mothers used IFA supplements compared to those whose mothers did not use (aRR = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.77–0.97). Additionally, the adjusted relative risk of being stunted was significantly reduced by 23% when antenatal IFA supplementation was started ≤6 months with ≥90 IFA supplements used during pregnancy (aRR = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.64–0.92). Antenatal IFA supplementation significantly reduced the risk of stunting in Nepalese children age <2 years. The greatest impact on the risk reduction of child stunting was when IFA supplements were started ≤6 months with ≥90 supplements were used. View Full-Text
Keywords: Stunting; child; IFA supplementation; risk Stunting; child; IFA supplementation; risk
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Nisar, Y.B.; Dibley, M.J.; Aguayo, V.M. Iron-Folic Acid Supplementation During Pregnancy Reduces the Risk of Stunting in Children Less Than 2 Years of Age: A Retrospective Cohort Study from Nepal. Nutrients 2016, 8, 67.

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