Guidance for Systematic Integration of Undernutrition in Attributing Cause of Death in Children
September 19, 2022
Minimally invasive tissue sampling (MITS) is increasingly being used to better understand causes of death in low-resource settings. Undernutrition (eg, wasting, stunting) is prevalent among children globally and yet not consistently coded or uniformly included on death certificates in MITS studies when present. Consistent and accurate attribution of undernutrition is fundamental to understanding its contribution to child deaths. In May 2020, members of the MITS Alliance Cause of Death Technical Working Group convened a panel of experts in public health, child health, nutrition, infectious diseases, and MITS to develop guidance for systematic integration of undernutrition, as assessed by anthropometry, in cause of death coding, including as part of the causal chain or as a contributing condition, in children <5 years of age. The guidance presented here will support MITS and other researchers, public health practitioners, and clinicians with a systematic approach to assigning and interpreting undernutrition in death certification.
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