If you are experiencing problems downloading PDF or HTML fulltext, our helpdesk recommend clearing your browser cache and trying again. If you need help in clearing your cache, please click here . Still need help? Email help@ingentaconnect.com

Free Content Temporal relationship between the occurrence of fresh noma and the timing of linear growth retardation in Nigerian children

You have access to the full text article on a website external to ingentaconnect.

Please click here to view this article on Wiley Online Library.

You may be required to register and activate access on Wiley Online Library before you can obtain the full text. If you have any queries please visit Wiley Online Library

Download Article:

Abstract:

Summary Background 

Fresh noma (cancrum oris) occurs predominantly in children <4 years of age. The key risk factors are poverty, malnutrition and infections. Evolution from an intraoral inflammation to a grotesque oro-facial gangrene is very rapid. Objective 

We assessed potential relationship between the occurrence of fresh noma and linear growth retardation (LGR) which is prevalent in deprived Third World infants/children between ages 3 and 30 months. LGR is attributed to malnutrition and chronic immunostimulation by environmental antigens. Design 

Anthropometric evaluation of children (n = 91) with fresh noma, ages 0–8 years, in relation to US National Center for Health Statistics Reference values was carried out. Age-matched noma-free, poor village children (n = 151) from similar communities as noma cases, and elite urban children (n = 132) served as control groups. Heights and weights were measured and the height for age (HAZ), weight for age (WAZ) and weight for height (WHZ) scores calculated as indices of stunting, underweight and wasting respectively. Serum level of interleukin (IL)-18, a multifunctional cytokine, was also measured. Results 

In the age groups 0–4 and 4–8 years, the percentages of noma children <−2.0SD were 91% and 67% respectively. The corresponding values for the village children were 37% and 24% and significantly different (P < 0.001) from the noma group. Only 7% of the elite children aged 4–8 years were stunted. Low body weight and wasting were prominent features of village and noma groups, but more marked in the latter. Associated with noma was a profound increase (P < 0.001) in IL-18 in comparison with urban controls, and a 34% non-statistically significant increase relative to the village control group. Among other functions, IL-18 induces several pro-inflammatory cytokines and the matrix metalloproteinases, influences long bone growth, and consequently may be relevant to growth retardation seen in poor village children and noma victims. Conclusion 

These results suggest that occurrence of fresh noma was probably programmed very early in life by malnutrition and chronic infections resulting from replacement of breast milk with contaminated, inferior substitutes. Although not investigated, we speculate that children with fresh noma might also be victims of intrauterine growth retardation as noma is most prevalent during the infantile phase of child growth which starts at mid-gestation and tails off at 4 years.

Keywords: cytokines; growth retardation; infections; malnutrition; noma; oro-facial gangrene

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2004.01351.x

Publication date: January 1, 2005

Related content

Tools

Favourites

Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more