Demographic Risk Factors for Malnutrition in Patients With Cleft Lip and Palate

This article was originally published here

Laryngoscope. 2021 Oct 19. doi: 10.1002/lary.29899. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: Patients with cleft lip and/or palate (CLP) are at increased risk of malnutrition. Acute and chronic malnutrition have been associated with elevated risk of postsurgical wound complications, adding morbidity and cost to patients and their families. To study the association between demographic factors, including insurance type, race, and median neighborhood income (MNI), and malnutrition in patients with CLP.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.

METHODS: Retrospective review was performed in patients undergoing their first cleft-related surgery at a large tertiary pediatric hospital from 2006 to 2018. Demographic data, weight and height at surgery, type of insurance, race, and primary residential address were collected. Geocoded information on MNI was generated using patient address. World Health Organization Z-scores for weight-for-age (WFA) and height-for-age (HFA) were used as proxies for acute and chronic malnutrition, respectively. Linear regression models were generated to analyze the relationship of insurance type, race, and MNI on WFA and HFA Z-scores.

RESULTS: About 313 patients met inclusion criteria. Increasing MNI predicted increasing WFA Z-score (0.05 increase in WFA per $1,000 increase, P = .047) as well as HFA Z-score (0.09 increase in HFA per $1,000 increase, P = .011). The effect of MNI was not independently modified by race for either WFA (P = .841) nor HFA (P = .404). Race and insurance type did not predict WFA or HFA.

CONCLUSIONS: Lower MNI is a significant independent risk factor for acute and chronic malnutrition in children with CLP. Combined with previous investigation linking malnutrition to surgical outcomes in this population, this offers a target area for intervention to improve patient outcomes.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3 Laryngoscope, 2021.

PMID:34665463 | DOI:10.1002/lary.29899