Risk factors in childhood stunting in Karnataka, India, vary by geography

Srilakshmi M. Raj, Ruwanthi Ekanayake, Kiera Crowley, Meenakshi Bhat, Jayarama Kadandale, Prabhu L. Pingali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Childhood stunting remains a public health concern in India. In Karnataka, the districts vary substantially in stunting prevalence. Using the NFHS-4 and AidData GEO datasets, we tested the hypothesis that ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ districts in Karnataka show different contribu-tions to stunting. We found that for 30 environmental and health factors, Bengaluru appears to be distinct from the other districts. Using a mixed linear model approach, we found that for the entire state, and in both wet and dry districts, preceding birth interval, altitude-adjusted haemoglobin level and child age showed significant correlations with height for age (HFA). The wet districts showed an additional associa-tion between maternal age and child HFA. However, interaction effects also differed among the three con-ditions. Our results suggest that subtle variations should not be ignored when considering factors im-pacting child health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-510
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 25 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Childhood stunting in Karnataka
  • environ-ment
  • genetics
  • nutrition
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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