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Association between child malnutrition and maternal common mental disorders: the potential role of disability
  1. Adriana Toledo de Paffer1,
  2. Cristiane Silvestre de Paula2,
  3. Haroldo da Silva Ferreira1,
  4. Cyro Rego Cabral Junior1,
  5. Regina Coeli da Silva Vieira1,
  6. Claudio Torres de Miranda1
  1. 1Federal University of Alagoas, Alagoas, Brazil
  2. 2Mackenzie Presbyterian University and Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to Dr Claudio Torres de Miranda, Rua Dr Jose Sampaio Luz 878 apt 101, Ponta Verde, Maceio, Alagoas CEP 57.035-260, Brazil; mirandaclaudio{at}

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In 1996 one of the authors (CTM) was the leading author of a clinically based case–control study conducted in Brazil, which investigated the association between child stunting and maternal common mental disorders (MCMD).1 A positive association (OR 2.8; 95% CI 1.2 to 6.9) was found in that case. Similar methods and results have been reported in another study conducted in Pakistan (OR 3.9; 95% CI 1.95 to7.86).2

Harpham et al3 were the first to test this association through population surveys in a multicentre study. They found significant positive associations between child stunting and MCMD in two out of four countries, namely India (OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.2 to 1.6) and Vietnam (OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.1 to 1.8). In Peru and Ethiopia, there was no significant association. There was congruence in the results of clinical and population-based studies.

We conducted a …

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  • Funding This study was partially funded by Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Alagoas (FAPEAL), Brazil.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The project was approved by the ethics committee of the Federal University of Alagoas, process no 000465/2007–96.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.