Association of infant and young child feeding practices and acute lower respiratory infections

Bibin Varghese, Mehul M. Gosai, Asha V. Patel, Akash Patel


Background: Suboptimal maternal–child nutrition leading to malnutrition is the major cause increasing morbidity and mortality from severe acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) among under two children. This research compares the infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices in children with ALRI and children coming for routine immunization to find out the independent risk factors.

Methods: The study was a hospital-based case control study. Infant and young children from 6 months to two years with ALRI admitted to the pediatric ward were studied as cases. Infant and young children of same age coming for routine immunization to the pediatric immunization clinic were studied as controls. Feeding patterns, socio-demographic, environmental and parenting factors were obtained from them in between May 2019 to April 2020.

Results: Mixed feeding till 6 months (adjusted OR=34.191; 95% CI, 2.158–541.801; p=0.012), early initiation of complimentary feeding (AOR=30.389; 95% CI, 1.426–647.603; p=0.029), late initiation of complimentary feeding (AOR=28.696; 95% CI, 1.217–676.566; p=0.037) and inadequate amount of complimentary feeding (AOR=14.406; 95% CI, 1.898–109.371; p=0.010) were significant in multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: Interventions to increase awareness of breastfeeding and complimentary feeding practices seldom reach lower sections of the society. Feeding visits, mother support groups and community projects to provide home based counselling on IYCF are needed to improve the situation.


ALRI, Breastfeeding, Complimentary feeding, IYCF, Feeding visits, Pneumonia

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