Correlation of weight and hypoxemia in children aged between six months to five years with acute lower respiratory tract infection in a tertiary care hospital

Karthikeyan S., Adarsh E.


Background: Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) are the leading cause of death among children less than 5 years in India. Poverty and malnutrition underlie both the high incidence and deaths of young children from pneumonia in SEAR countries.

Methods: A hospital based prospective observational study was conducted in a tertiary care hospital. A total of 200 children admitted with signs of ALRI were included in the study. A portable oximeter was used to measure oxygen saturation with an appropriately sized sensor on the finger or the toe. Weight was recorded on a standardized digital weighing scale and plotted on standard WHO weight for age chart. Chi-square test was used to test the significance.

Results: Out of 200 children studied hypoxemia was present in 90 children with a percentage of 45% and absent in 110 children with a percentage of 55%. Out of 90 children who had hypoxemia, 40 children had weight less than 3rd centile. Out 110 children who had did not have hypoxemia, only 24 children had weight less than 3rd centile. It was observed that children with Weight for age less than 3rd centile according to standard WHO charts had higher incidence of hypoxemia. This correlation was statistically significant at p value of 0.001.

Conclusions: Based on the results of this study hypoxemia is widely prevalent in children aged between six months to five years presenting with acute lower respiratory tract infection. There was significant correlation with weight and hypoxemia in children aged between six months to five years with acute lower respiratory tract infection.


Acute lower respiratory tract infection, Hypoxemia, Weight

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