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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Washington: Researchers Discover Link Between Diarrhea, Acute Malnutrition and Child Mortality

A new study led by the University of Washington has found that enteric pathogens — or bugs associated with diarrhea — become a much greater issue when they infect malnourished children. The study was published Feb. 1 in The Lancet Global Health.

The study was led by Dr. Kirk Tickell, a doctoral student at the University of Washington School of Public Health and a research fellow for the Childhood Acute Illness and Nutrition (CHAIN) Network in the School’s Department of Global Health.

An initial study by Dr. Tickell, Dr. Judd Walson and Dr. Patricia Pavlinac found that acute malnutrition was associated with more severe diarrhea, but their latest work shows its associated with substantial mortality too. They used data from the Global Enteric Multicenter Study, a seminal study of diarrhea among children ages 0-59 months in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan and Gambia.

The study was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Co-authors include partners from the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research (icddr, b) in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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