Project Details

Early Career

Status: Funded - Open

Evaluation of a novel method for determining physiologic stability of severely malnourished children

Jonah Attebery, MD


BACKGROUND: Provide one to two sentences explaining the problem.

Severe acute malnutrition affects nearly 20 million children a year globally.  Children with SAM die at a rate 5-20 times higher than well-nourished children, and many of those who survive experience lifelong health consequences.

GAP: Provide one to two sentences outline the gap your study addresses in the medical research.

Despite improvements in nutritional therapy for children with SAM such as community-based management, short-term mortality remains unacceptably high and the mechanisms for long-term morbidity are poorly understood.

HYPOTHESIS: Provide one to two sentences stating the hypothesis of your study.

Initial autonomic dysregulation as measured by heart rate variability will correlate with the clinical outcome of children completing therapy for malnutrition.  Additionally, recovery of appropriate autonomic regulation upon completion of therapy will be predictive of improved outcomes including relapse and mortality.

METHODS: Provide one to two sentences describing the study design and study participants.

In this prospective cohort study, we will enroll 200 children aged 6-59 months with SAM presenting to rural community-based malnutrition feeding clinics in southern Malawi.  We will obtain ECG data from each child at various points in therapy and after discharge in order to calculate heart rate variability metrics for analysis of autonomic balance and stability.

RESULTS: Pending.

Supervising Institution:
Washington University in St. Louis

Mark Manary

Project Location:
United States, Malawi

Award Amount: