Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

It has been estimated that more than 50 % of deaths before the age of 5 years have undernutrition as an underlying cause. Severe childhood malnutrition, an extreme form of undernutrition, occurs as oedematous and non-oedematous syndromes. The reasons why only some children develop oedematous severe childhood malnutrition (OSCM) have remained elusive, but the heterogeneity of clinical appearances among children from relatively homogeneous backgrounds suggests that interindividual variation in susceptibility to OSCM may exist. We investigated variants of four glutathione S-transferase (GST) genes in a retrospective study among subjects (n 136) previously admitted to the Tropical Metabolism Research Unit, Jamaica, for the treatment of either OSCM (cases) or non-oedematous severe childhood malnutrition (controls). We found that GSTP1 Val(105) homozygotes were significantly more common among the cases (odds ratio (OR) 3.5; 95 % CI 1.1, 10.8). We also found an association of borderline significance between non-deletion GSTT1 genotypes (i.e. +/+ or +/0) and OSCM (OR 2.4; 95 % CI 1.0, 5.9). There was no significant association between OSCM and any of the other GST variants. These preliminary findings suggest that genetic variation within the GST superfamily may contribute to the risk of OSCM. Additional, larger data sets and studies of variants in other candidate genes are required in order to properly assess the true contribution, if any, of genetic variation to risk of OSCM. Such studies may improve our understanding of the causes of clinical heterogeneity in malnutrition.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Br J Nutr

Publication Date

08/2006

Volume

96

Pages

243 - 248

Keywords

Anthropometry, Case-Control Studies, Child, Child, Preschool, Edema, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Genotype, Glutathione Transferase, Humans, Infant, Isoenzymes, Isoprostanes, Lipid Peroxidation, Polymorphism, Genetic, Protein-Energy Malnutrition