Lactose malabsorption in junior high school children

  • Aswitha D. Budiarso
  • Deny Sofia
  • Sri Rezeki S Hadinegoro
  • Badriul Hegar
Keywords: lactose malabsorption, lactose intolerance, breath hydrogen test, milk drinking habit


Background The prevalence of lactose malabsorption varies
widely throughout the world. Only people of Caucasian genetic
background continue to produce high amount of lactase throughout
adulthood. Previous studies in Indonesia revealed that the
prevalence of lactose malabsorption was 21-58% in children aged
3-11 years.
Objective To determine the prevalence of lactose malabsorption
in the older age group and whether a change in milk drinking habit
can affect it.
Methods A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted on
98 children aged between 12 and 14 years (junior high school) in
Jakarta. Lactose malabsorption was evaluated with Lactometer
Breath Hydrogen Test (Hoek Loes, Amsterdam). Milk drinking habit
was recorded, and drinking at least 1 glass of milk everyday since
6 months or more before the study was considered as regular milk
Results This study showed 73% of the children had lactose malabsorption.
Regular milk drinking habit was found in 32 (33%) children
and lactose malabsorption occurred in 26. From 66 children
who were irregular milk drinkers, lactose malabsorption was found
in 46 (70%). Lactose intolerance was about the same in both groups.
Conclusion There was an increasing prevalence of lactose malabsorption
in older children. Milk drinking habit is a major concern
to review the practical implications of lactose malabsorption.

Author Biographies

Aswitha D. Budiarso
Department of Child Health, Medical School, University of
Indonesia, Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, Jakarta.
Deny Sofia
Department of Child Health, Medical School, University of
Indonesia, Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, Jakarta.
Sri Rezeki S Hadinegoro
Department of Child Health, Medical School, University of
Indonesia, Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, Jakarta.
Badriul Hegar
Department of Child Health, Medical School, University of
Indonesia, Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, Jakarta.


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How to Cite
Budiarso A, Sofia D, Hadinegoro S, Hegar B. Lactose malabsorption in junior high school children. PI [Internet]. 10Oct.2016 [cited 30Nov.2023];43(2):46-0. Available from:
Received 2016-10-10
Accepted 2016-10-10
Published 2016-10-10