Macronutrient malabsorption in acute diarrhea: Prevalence and affecting factors
AbstractIntroduction Diarrhea remains a major problem for community
health in Indonesia. More than 25% of children with severe diar-
rhea suffer from malabsorption syndrome.
Objectives This study aimed to determine the age range of chil-
dren with acute diarrhea, the prevalence of macronutrient malab-
sorption, and the relationship between age and bacterial infec-
tion in macronutrient malabsorption.
Methods This was a cross-sectional study, subjects were chil-
dren aged 0-59 months with acute diarrhea whose stools were
obtained and examined in the laboratory of Gastrohepatology
Division, Department of Child Health, Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospi-
tal, Jakarta from January 2002 to December 2003.
Results Children with acute diarrhea were mostly in the age
range of 0-11 months (61%). The prevalence of lactose malab-
sorption was 11%, carbohydrate malabsorption was 19%, and
fat malabsorption was 51%. Moreover, the age group of 0-11
months had a 1.5 times greater possibility of lactose and fat
malabsorption compared to that of 12-59 months. The 12-59 months
age group had a greater possibility of suffering carbohydrate
maldigestion (70%). The group of children who did not suffer
from bacterial infection had a higher prevalence of lactose mal-
absorption (54%), carbohydrate maldigestion (65%), and fat
Conclusions Acute diarrhea occurred more frequently in the
age of 0-11 months. There was a significant correlation between
the age groups of 0-11 months and 12-59 months in experiencing
macronutrient malabsorption. Lactose malabsorption, carbohy-
drate maldigestion, and fat malabsorption were encountered more
frequently in the group that did not have bacterial infection
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