Analysis on the association among stunting, wasting and underweight in Malawi: an application of a log-linear model for the three-way table


Submitted: 6 November 2016
Accepted: 6 March 2017
Published: 3 July 2017
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Authors

  • Alfred Ngwira Department of Basic Sciences, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Lilongwe, Malawi.
  • Eddons C.S. Munthali Department of Basic Sciences, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Lilongwe, Malawi.
  • Kondwani D. Vwalika Department of Mathematical Science, Chancellor College, University of Malawi, Zomba, Malawi.
Childhood undernutrition is an important public health problem. Many studies have investigated the factors of childhood undernutrition, but not the association between the undernutrition indicators. This study aimed at investigating the association between the childhood undernutrition indicators. A loglinear model of cell counts of a three way table of stunting, wasting, and underweight was fitted based on the 2010 Malawi demographic health survey data. Interaction terms in the model depicted deviations from independence. A multiple correspondence analysis of undernutrition indicators was also plotted to have a visual impression of association of the undernutrition variables. A loglinear model showed that underweight was associated with both stunting (P<0.001), and wasting (P<0.001). There was no association between stunting and wasting (P=1). Furthermore there was no three way association of stunting, wasting and underweight (P=1). Lack of three way interaction of stunting, wasting and underweight means that childhood undernutrition multidimensional nature is still valid, and no each indicator can represent the other.

Ngwira, A., Munthali, E. C., & Vwalika, K. D. (2017). Analysis on the association among stunting, wasting and underweight in Malawi: an application of a log-linear model for the three-way table. Journal of Public Health in Africa, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2017.620

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