Research Article

Excess mortality among children discharged from hospital after treatment for diarrhoea in rural Bangladesh.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 287 doi: (Published 15 October 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;287:1097
  1. S K Roy,
  2. A K Chowdhury,
  3. M M Rahaman


    Five hundred and fifty one children aged between 3 months and 3 years were followed up at home for 12 months after treatment of diarrhoea in a rural treatment centre of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh. During follow up the children were found to have a significantly higher mortality than generally observed in the community. The first three months after discharge appeared to be crucial, some 70% of the deaths occurring in that period. Severely malnourished children (nutritional state below 56% of the American National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) standard of weight for age ratio) had a risk of death 14 times that of their well nourished counterparts (nutritional state 66% or more of the NCHS standard). The highest mortality occurred in 2 year olds, one in three of the severely malnourished children dying compared with one in 10 of the moderately malnourished. This pattern was not seen in children aged under 2 years. Immediate priority should be given to providing nutritional rehabilitation for malnourished children who contract diarrhoea.