Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #319331

Title: Management of severe acute malnutrition in low-income and middle-income countries

item TREHAN, INDI - Washington University
item MANARY, MARK - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)

Submitted to: Archives of Disease in Childhood
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/31/2014
Publication Date: 3/1/2015
Citation: Trehan, I., Manary, M.J. 2015. Management of severe acute malnutrition in low-income and middle-income countries. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 100(3):283-287.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Kwashiorkor and marasmus, collectively termed severe acute malnutrition (SAM), account for at least 10% of all deaths among children under 5 years of age worldwide, virtually all of them in low-income and middle-income countries. A number of risk factors, including seasonal food insecurity, environmental enteropathy, poor complementary feeding practices, and chronic and acute infections, contribute to the development of SAM. Careful anthropometry is key to making an accurate diagnosis of SAM and can be performed by village health workers or even laypeople in rural areas. The majority of children can be treated at home with ready-to-use therapeutic food under the community-based management of acute malnutrition model with recovery rates of approximately 90% under optimal conditions. A small percentage of children, often those with HIV, tuberculosis or other comorbidities, will still require inpatient therapy using fortified milk-based foods.