Kerac and colleagues determined wasting prevalence among 15,534 infants under 6 months and 147,694 children aged 6 to under 60 months. Wasting was defined as weight-for-height z-score <−2, moderate wasting as −3 to <−2 z-scores, severe wasting as z-score <−3.
The results showed that using National Center for Health Statistics(NCHS) growth references, the nationwide prevalence of wasting in infant under-6-month ranged from 1.1% to 15% (~3 million wasted infants <6 months worldwide). Prevalence was more than doubled using WHO standards: 2.0–34% (~8.5 million wasted infants <6 months worldwide).
Policy makers, programme managers and clinicians in child health and nutrition programmes should consider resource and risk/benefit implications of changing case definitions.
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