Volume 96, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



In underresourced settings where domestic animals and children often cohabitate, there is limited evidence about the net impact of domestic animal ownership on child health. We analyzed the 2011 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey to determine whether household ownership of native cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, pigs, and nonnative cattle was associated with child height-for-age -scores (HAZ), and to assess the influence of diet on this association in rural and urban environments. Using weighted multivariable linear regression, we found that nonnative cattle ownership was positively associated with HAZ in rural children 0 to < 2 years of age (+1.32 standard deviations [SD], 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.2–2.5) and 2 to < 5 years of age (+0.58 SD, 95% CI = 0.003–1.2), and urban children 2 to < 5 years of age (+1.08 SD, 95% CI = 0.38–1.8). Sheep ownership was positively associated with HAZ in rural children 2 to < 5 years of age (+0.29 SD, 95% CI = 0.002–0.58) and goat ownership was positively associated with HAZ in rural children 0 to < 2 years of age (+0.27 SD, 95% CI = 0.003–0.55). We observed no other significant associations. Children who lived in households that owned nonnative cattle consumed dairy more frequently; however, the relationship between child HAZ and nonnative cattle ownership was not mediated by child dairy consumption. These findings suggest that domestic animal ownership may not be detrimental to child HAZ, and that nonnative cattle ownership is beneficial for child HAZ through pathways other than dairy consumption.


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  • Received : 07 Aug 2016
  • Accepted : 21 Sep 2016
  • Published online : 11 Jan 2017

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