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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 670-674

Nutritional status and anemia in persons with cancrum oris

1 Department of Dental and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja, Nigeria
2 Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Benedict Chimezie Chukwuma
Department of Dental and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_146_21

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Background: Cancrum oris, also known as Noma, is a devastating infectious disease that destroys the soft and hard tissues of the face and peri-oral tissues. The etiology of noma is still unknown, but several risk factors have been identified such as malnutrition, poverty, poor oral and general hygiene. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the nutritional status (using body mass index) and hemoglobin levels of patients managed with Cancrum oris at the NOMA Children's hospital (NCH) in Sokoto Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This was a 4 year' retrospective study of patients managed with NOMA at the NCH from 2016 to 2019 using the hospital records. Results: One hundred and ninety-five (195) patients were seen within this period. The mean BMI was 16.768 standard deviation 4.59 (Underweight) with about 49% of the total patients seen being underweight. Anemia was observed in 60% of the patients. Conclusions: Malnutrition features are common among noma patients, observed in 49% of noma patients in Sokoto. This is in line with several other reports. However, this study raises questions on a possible relationship of noma with anemia beyond its coexistence with malnutrition.

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