Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Chair in Global Environmental Health



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BibTex format

author = {Finlay, JE and Fink, G and McCoy, DC and Tavárez, LC and Chai, J and Danaei, G and Ezzati, M and Fawzi, W and Fawzi, MC},
doi = {10.1136/jech-2015-206346},
journal = {Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health},
pages = {784--790},
title = {Stunting risk of orphans by caregiver and living arrangement in low-income and middle-income countries.},
url = {},
volume = {70},
year = {2016}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - BACKGROUND: An estimated 151 million children worldwide have lost one or both parents (UNICEF). Although a considerable literature has documented the impact of parental loss on children's emotional development, to date there are mixed findings regarding the potential effect of orphanhood on children's physical growth. The aim of the study is to examine the association between orphanhood (maternal, paternal or both) on childhood stunting status, accounting for living arrangement. METHODS: We combine nationally representative data from 84 Demographic Health Surveys for 49 low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). Data from 222690 children aged 0-23months were included in the analytical sample. We show pooled estimates from multiple analysis models, as well as models examining the role of the surviving parent's residence and household structure. RESULTS: In fully adjusted models, maternal orphans were found to have an increased risk of stunting (RR 1.3, 95% CI 1.2 to 1.4) compared to children with two living parents. The stratified models demonstrated that the greatest risk was observed for maternal orphans whose surviving fathers did not live with the child (RR 1.4, 95% CI 1.3 to 1.6). CONCLUSIONS: Early orphanhood constitutes a major risk for children's physical development in LMICs. However, the results suggest that the adverse effects of a parental loss can be mitigated if appropriate support is provided, indicating the potential benefits of the surviving parents staying with their children. The benefits of targeted social policies aimed at single fathers and grandparents supporting orphans may be significant.
AU - Finlay,JE
AU - Fink,G
AU - McCoy,DC
AU - Tavárez,LC
AU - Chai,J
AU - Danaei,G
AU - Ezzati,M
AU - Fawzi,W
AU - Fawzi,MC
DO - 10.1136/jech-2015-206346
EP - 790
PY - 2016///
SN - 1470-2738
SP - 784
TI - Stunting risk of orphans by caregiver and living arrangement in low-income and middle-income countries.
T2 - Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
UR -
VL - 70
ER -