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Children Treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition Experience a Rapid Increase in Physical Activity a Few Days after Admission

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Vincent van Hees



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Objective To assess physical activity at admission and during recovery from severe acute malnutrition.Study design Ethiopian children who were admitted with severe acute malnutrition received a clinical examination each week to monitor their recovery during rehabilitation. Using accelerometry (24 h/d for 5 consecutive days) at admission and again after 10 days of rehabilitation, we assessed the level and changes of physical activity.Results Among 13 children included, the mean (SD) age was 31.1 months (15.5). At baseline, the day-night activity difference was relatively small, whereas the level of activity had substantially increased at follow-up. The diurnal mean acceleration level was significantly greater at follow-up for wrist (1158.8 vs 541.4 counts per minute, P = .003) but not hip movements (204.1 vs 141.5, P = .261). During daytime (6 a.m. to 10 p.m.), hip activity increased by 38% from baseline to follow-up (e(B) 1.38, 95% CI 1.17-1.62), and wrist activity more than doubled (e(B) 2.50, 95% CI 2.17-2.87).Conclusion The level of physical activity among children with severe acute malnutrition is very low but increases rapidly during recovery. Accelerometry may be a useful approach in the recovery phase as an indicator of early improvement.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Faurholt-Jepsen D, Hansen KB, van Hees VT, Christensen LB, Girma T, Friis H, Brage S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Pediatrics

Year: 2014

Volume: 164

Issue: 6

Pages: 1421-1424

Print publication date: 01/06/2014

Online publication date: 20/03/2014

Acceptance date: 04/02/2014

Date deposited: 22/08/2014

ISSN (print): 0022-3476

ISSN (electronic): 1097-6833

Publisher: Mosby Inc.


DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.02.014


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Funder referenceFunder name
Danish Council for Independent Research - Medical Sciences
MC_UU_12015/3MRC UK