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Housing subsidies and pediatric undernutrition

Housing subsidies and pediatric undernutrition

Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 149(10): 1079-1084

Objective: To test the hypothesis that receipt of housing subsidies by poor families is associated with improved nutritional status of their children. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Pediatric emergency department of an urban municipal hospital. Patients: Convenience sample of 203 children younger than 3 years and their families who were being seen during one of twenty-seven 24-hour periods. Main Outcome Measures: Anthropometric indicators (z scores of weight for age, weight-for-height, and height-for-age), and the proportion of children with low growth indicator (weight-for-height below the 10th percentile or height-for-age below the fifth percentile, or both, of the reference population) Results: Multivariate analysis controlling for demographics and program participation showed that receipt of housing assistance contributed significantly to z scores for weight-for-age (P=.03) and weight-for-height (P=.04). The risk of a child's having low growth indicators was 21.6% for children whose families were on the waiting list for housing assistance compared with 3.3% for those whose families received subsidies (adjusted odds ratio=8.2, 95% confidence interval=2.2 to 30.4, P=.002) Conclusion: Receiving a housing subsidy is associated with increased growth in children from low-income families, an effect that is consistent with a protective effect of housing subsidies against childhood undernutrition.

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Accession: 002860686

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 7550809

DOI: 10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170230033004

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