Comparison of cognitive and other developmental functions in children with stunting and malnutrition

Setyo Handryastuti, Surastuti Nurdadi, Hardiono D. Pusponegoro, Anita Chandra, Feka A. Pramita, Amanda Soebadi, Ivan R. Widjaja, ACHMAD RAFLI

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Background. Stunting is the impairment of growth and development due to malnutrition and/or chronic disease/infection. According to the Indonesia Basic National Health Survey 2013, prevalence of stunting in Indonesia reached 37.2%. Various studies have shown that impaired cognitive development may be found in children with stunting and malnutrition. This research has purpose to determine cognitive development in stunted children and malnourished children, using Bayley Scale of Infant Development III (Bayley-III).

Methods. A cross-sectional study in 51 children aged 6 month to 3 year old who fullfiled the inclusion criteria at the Outpatient Clinic of Dr.Cipto Mangunkusumo National General Hospital from June 2017 until January 2018. Cognitive development was assessed using the Bayley Scale of Infant Development Third Edition (Bayley-III).

Results. Twenty six children with stunting and 25 children with malnutrition without stunting with age of subjects were 11.0 month (2.0-34.0) and 16.0 month (7.0-25.6) respectively. Bayley-III percentile in cognitive scale were 12.5 (0.1-75) and 16.0 (0.1-99.9) with P (p-value)=0.55.

Conclusions: Stunted children showed lower cognitive scores compared to the children with malnutrition. Although it was not significant, but it showed that Bayley-III scores group of stunting and malnutrition groups of children with normal stature far below the 50 percentile (P50). This showed that both children with stunting and malnutrition possible to have decreased cognitive function. Further research is needed with a larger sample to get comprehensive conclusions. Early detection and intervention also should be aimed at children who are experienced growth faltering to prevent developmental problems, especially cognitive function.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch Square
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2020


  • Nutrition & Dietetics stunting children cognitive Bayley-III


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