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Exploring the association between child nutritional disorders and short birth interval: Evidence from 2017/18 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey data
Authors: Mohammad Zahidul Islam, Mostafizur Rahman, and Nuruzzaman Khan
Source: Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health, Volume 20; DOI:
Topic(s): Birth interval
Child health
Country: Asia
Published: MAR 2023
Abstract: Background: Nutritional disorder is an ongoing public health threat in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) which is assumed to be higher among children born in shorter intervals (Short Birth Interval, SBI). However, high-quality research addressing this is lacking. We explored the association of nutritional disorder with SBI adjusting for possible confounders. Methods: We linked 5941 mother-child dyads included in 2017/18 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey with 1524 healthcare facilities included in the 2017 Bangladesh Health Facility Survey and analysed. Three forms of nutritional disorders were considered as outcome variables: stunting, wasting, and underweight. The major exposure variable was SBI. The multilevel Poisson regression model was used separately for each outcome to explore the association between exposure and outcome variables, adjusting for possible confounders at the individual-, household-, community- and health facility levels. Results: Almost 26% of the total children analysed were born in SBI among which the reported prevalence of stunting, wasting, and underweight was almost 30%, 22% and 29%, respectively. Children born in the SBI had a 1.20 times (aOR, 1.20, 95% CI, 1.08–1.33) higher likelihood of being stunted and a 1.14 times (aOR, 1.14, 95% CI, 1.00–1.30%) higher likelihood of being underweighted than their counterparts born in the normal interval. The association between wasting and SBI was not found statistically significant. Conclusion: This study confirms that SBI increases the occurrence of child nutritional disorders. Programs to aware mothers about the risk of close intervals children on becoming undernourished should be considered in national level policies and programs.