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Drugs and diseases reference index

Definition of «Kwashiorkor»


Kwashiorkor: The word kwashiorkor comes from the Ivory Coast. It means the deposed (no longer suckled) child. Kwashiorkor is a childhood disease due to protein deprivation. Early signs are vague: apathy (indifference), lethargy (drowsiness) and irritability. More advanced signs are poor growth, lack of stamina, loss of muscle mass, swelling, abnormal hair (sparse, thin, often streaky red or gray in dark-skinned children) and abnormal skin (darkening in irritated but not sun-exposed areas). Kwashiorkor disables the immune system so the child is susceptible to a host of infectious diseases. Kwashiorkor is responsible for much morbidity (illness) and mortality (death) among children worldwide. Also known as protein malnutrition. and protein-calorie malnutrition (PCM).

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