Prevalence and risk factors of neonatal stunting among neonates at Tikur Anbessa specialized hospital


  • Handsome Deksiso
  • amha mekasha addis ababa university


newborn, stunting, prevalence, risk factors


Background: Stunting is widely used to assess nutritional status of children. Neonates with fetal growth restriction are at substantially increased risk of being stunted at 24 months and of development of non-communicable diseases in adulthood. Under-nutrition during the first 1000 days post conception causes an important wasting of human potentials.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence and associated risk factors for newborn stunting.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on newborns at Tikur Anbessa Hospital from July - August 2018. Exposures were Socio-demographic and behavioral maternal risk factors, maternal medical illness during pregnancy. Main outcomes were newborn stunting defined as birth length for sex and gestational age below 3rd centiles of the INTERGROWTH-21st standard and neonatal admission to neonatal intensive care unit.

Results: There were a total of 392 singleton newborns included in the study. Stunting affected 15.1% of all newborns. In bivariate analysis maternal socio-economic, and obstetric variables were not found as risk factors for stunting in newborns, except use of biofuel for cooking (p< 0.049 95% CI 0.586, 1.956) and parity (p< 0.011, 95% CI 1.181, 3.837). Among fetal factors birth weight and birth weight for gestational age were significant factors. On multiple regression analysis only significant determinant of stunting among neonates at birth.

Conclusions: Prevalence of newborn stunting is high in our setting. Further study is recommended to determine the risk factors for stunting at birth with a larger sample size.  Appropriate intervention should be put in place to mitigate the high prevalence of stunting in newborns.



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