Seasonal Changes in Malnutrition and Diarrheal Disease among Preschool Children in El Salvador

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  • Bureau of Tropical Diseases, Center for Disease Control, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Atlanta, Georgia 30333

The nutritional status of preschool children in a rural El Salvadoran population was assessed quarterly for 1 years using height, weight and arm circumference measurements in order to define seasonal changes in malnutrition. Seasonal patterns in the incidence of reported malnutrition and diarrheal disease from the local clinic serving the study population and on the national level for El Salvador were also assessed and were compared with field measurements. Results indicated a similar seasonal increase in both measured malnutrition and in the reported incidence of malnutrition and diarrheal disease occurring at the onset of the rainy season. The results confirm the existence and indicate the magnitude of seasonal changes in malnutrition and diarrheal disease in a preschool population.