Malnutrition among the rural Bangladeshi women of reproductive age is still very high. This high prevalence attributes to a range of adverse health consequences on the women and their offspring. A total of 2341 women aged between 20 and 45 years residing in the study area were interviewed in this cross-sectional study. Information on socioeconomic variables, nutritional status, and pregnancy-related history was obtained using interviewer administered questionnaire. A total of 34% of the reproductive aged rural women suffer from malnutrition. A multivariate analysis shows association between malnutrition and monthly household income, history of taking oral contraceptive, current pregnancy status, and history of breastfeeding. The final regression model shows a statistically significant decreasing trend in malnutrition status with increasing income (P for trend <.001). The economic and health consequences of malnutrition in this group of women are enormous. National nutritional program should target this women group for any intervention with a special priority.
Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health Vol. 22, Issue 1, p. 110-117