Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
  • Users Online: 355
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 155-162

A review of some metabolic changes in protein-energy malnutrition

Department of Chemical Pathology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
S A Akuyam
Department of Chemical Pathology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Rights and PermissionsRights and Permissions

Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) is a major public health problem in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world and often arises during protein and / or energy deficit due to nutritional inadequacy, infections and poor socio-economic and environmental conditions. It is the most common nutritional disorder affecting children in developing countries and the third most common disease of childhood in such countries. PEM has a lasting effect on immune functions, growth and development of children, learning ability, social adjustment, work efficiency and productivity of labour. It seems that many deaths from PEM occur as a result of outdated clinical practices and that improving these practices reduces the rate of morbidity and mortality. This paper reviews various metabolic changes in protein-energy malnutrition (PEM). It gives an overview of the theoretical basis for the understanding of the biochemical derangements in PEM. It aims at stimulating the paediatricians and clinical chemists to read more on the recent advances in this broad subject with the view to improving the understanding of the current laboratory investigation of PEM. This review demonstrates that the metabolic changes in PEM include water and electrolytes imbalance, amino acids and proteins deficiencies, carbohydrates and energy deficiencies, hypolipidaemias, hypolipoproteinaemias, hormonal imbalance, deficiency of anti-oxidant vitamins and enzymes, depression of cell-mediated immune complexes and decrease in amino acids and trace elements in skin and hair. The review therefore suggests that assessment of these conditions in PEM patients could improve the management of this group of patients and hence reduce the rate of morbidity and mortality from PEM.

[PDF Not available]*
Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded0    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal