A literature review of the effect of malaria on stunting

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6 Scopus citations


Background: The current version of the Lives Saved Tool (LiST) maternal and child health impact modeling software does not include an effect of malaria on stunting. Objective: This literature review was undertaken to determine whether such a causal link should be included in the LiST model. Methods: The PubMed, Embase, and Scopus databases were searched by using broad search terms. The searches returned a total of 4281 documents. Twelve studies from among the retrieved documents were included in the review according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results: There was mixed evidence for an effect of malaria on stunting among longitudinal observational studies, and none of the randomized controlled trials of malaria interventions found an effect of the interventions on stunting. Conclusions: There is insufficient evidence to include malaria as a determinant of stunting or an effect of malaria interventions on stunting in the LiST model. The paucity and heterogeneity of the available literature were a major limitation. In addition, the studies included in the review consistently fulfilled their ethical responsibility to treat children under observation for malaria, which may have interfered with the natural history of the disease and prevented any observable effect on stunting or linear growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2163S-2168S
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Anthropometry
  • Literature review
  • Lives Saved Tool
  • Malaria
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Stunting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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