High prevalence of obesity among infants presenting with intussusception: Findings in an Egyptian cohort.


Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Intussusception is a life-threatening illness, with incompletely understood aetiology, although some predisposing factors are known. Intussusception frequently occurs in well-nourished chubby infants. We aimed to determine whether patients presenting with intussusception have a high prevalence of obesity.
METHODS : This cross sectional study was conducted in 100 infants presenting with intussusception aged ≤2 years at the Paediatric Surgery Department. Anthropometric measures, history of recent upper respiratory tract infection, timing and type of intervention were recorded. A near median split divided the population into younger (aged < 8 months, N = 47) and older (8-24 months, N = 53) groups. Obesity was defined as having a body weight for length ≥ 97.7th centile on WHO growth charts.
RESULTS : The study comprised 58 boys and 42 girls, 31% of whom had upper respiratory infection in the preceding month. Obesity was present in 18% of patients, based on WHO growth charts. There was a trend towards higher percentage of obese infants within the younger (25%) compared to older age groups (12%, P = 0.085), but no gender difference. Obesity did not influence the rate of success of hydrostatic reduction. Based on Egypt-specific growth charts, the percentage of infants with a weight-for-age centile ≥ 85th was 42%, of whom 7% were ≥ 97.7th centile. The corresponding percentages for the weight-for-length were 29% and 15% of patients respectively.
CONCLUSIONS : There is a high prevalence of obesity in infants presenting with intussusception, particularly under 8 months of age. The mechanistic link between obesity and the pathogenesis of intussusception deserves investigation.


Intussusception,Obesity,Weaning,Weight for age,Weight for length,

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