Nutritional support and growth in thalassaemia major

G. J. Fuchs, P. Tienboon, M. A. Khaled, S. Nimsakul, S. Linpisarn, A. S.G. Faruque, Y. Yutrabootr, M. Dewier, R. M. Suskind

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Twelve thalassaemic children under 3 years of age received intensive nutritional support for one month and were discharged on a prescribed diet of locally available foods. Anthropometry, bioelectrical impedance analysis and dietary intake were longitudinally assessed. Mean energy intake was 20% greater than the recommended daily allowance during nutritional supplementation as compared with below the recommended daily allowance before and after the period of nutritional support. Weight, but not height, significantly increased during the support period and was due to increases in both fat free mass and fat mass. Body weight, fat free mass and fat mass declined in line with the reduced intake upon return home; however, height velocity accelerated and exceeded normal through the fourth month before resuming a below normal rate. It can be concluded that (1) nutritional stunting as the result of reduced nutrient intake is an important cause of growth failure in young children with thalassaemia and is responsive to nutritional support, (2) the deficit in height velocity was due to retarded truncal height growth, and (3) the bioelectrical impedance analysis method is suitable for body composition analysis of thalassaemic children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-512
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997


  • Anthropometry
  • Bioimpedance
  • Malnutrition
  • Thalassaemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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