Children treated for severe acute malnutrition experience a rapid increase in physical activity a few days after admission.
The Journal of pediatrics 2013 ; 164: 1421-4.
PubMed ID : 24657125
PMCID : 0
To assess physical activity at admission and during recovery from severe acute malnutrition.
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.
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).
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.