Association of Alcohol Use with Risk of Malnutrition Among Injury Patients in Moshi, Tanzania: A Mixed-Method Study

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2025-05-25

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2023

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Abstract

Background: Alcohol consumption is a major risk factor for several adverse health effects globally and is associated with a high disease burden of malnutrition in Tanzania. This study aims to: 1) assess the practicality and effectiveness of mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) as a feasible bedside measure to detect malnutrition among adult and pediatric patients, 2) evaluate the association between alcohol use and nutritional status among adult injury patients and 3) qualitatively identify social determinants of malnutrition in Tanzania. Methods: This mixed-method study was conducted in Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves and logistic regression were used for quantitative data on alcohol use, body mass index (BMI), MUAC. Thematic approach was used for qualitative data on perspectives on alcohol use and its interactions with malnutrition. Results: MUAC cut-offs were determined at < 25.5 cm (BMI < 16 kg/m2) for severely underweight, < 28 cm (BMI < 18.5 kg/m2) for underweight, ≥ 30.5 cm (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) for overweight, ≥ 33 cm (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) for obese. The association between alcohol use and malnutrition (MUAC < 25.5 cm) was statistically significant. Qualitative results helped explain the association between alcohol use and malnutrition. Conclusions: MUAC is an effective tool to detect adult malnutrition to inform clinical practice in Tanzania. Polarizing attitudes towards drinking revealed by qualitative data suggested the need for alcohol awareness campaigns. Food assistance programs are needed to reduce the risk of malnutrition among vulnerable populations.

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Yuan, Yun (2023). Association of Alcohol Use with Risk of Malnutrition Among Injury Patients in Moshi, Tanzania: A Mixed-Method Study. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27793.

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