Key Concept

Key Evidence: More than one-third of children under one year of age in a US study, admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit for critical pertussis had significantly abnormal scores on the Mullen Scales of Early Learning, especially in the area of language development. These children also had a significantly lower mean score for all areas of the test, including cognitive and motor development. This indicates the need for routine neuro-development screening of child survivors of critical pertussis.

From the VoICE Editors: The Mullen Scales of Early Learning assesses cognitive and motor development [Gross Motor, Visual Reception, Fine Motor, Expressive Language, and Receptive Language] in children. The Mullen test is generally used for evaluating intellectual development and readiness for school. 

Berger JT, Villalobos ME, Clark AM et al. 2017. Cognitive development one year after infantile critical pertussis. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. 19(2).
View Publication >

Key Evidence: Those who experienced more frequent or longer episodes of diarrhea as an infant were more likely to have metabolic syndrome as adults. A longitudinal study in Guatemala found that diarrhea episodes in early infancy are associated with chronic health issues later in life. Each 1% increase in diarrhea burden in children 0-6 months was associated with a 3% increased prevalence in high blood pressure in adulthood. Similarly, a 1% increase in diarrhea burden in older infants 6-12 months was associated with a 4% increased prevalence in elevated waist circumference in adulthood.

DeBoer, M.D., Chen, D., Burt, D.R. et al 2013. Early childhood diarrhea and cardiometabolic risk factors in adulthood: The Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP) Nutritional Supplementation Longitudinal Study. Annals of Epidemiology. 23(6).
View Publication >

Key Evidence: In a study of data from England & Wales, Denmark and the US, it was shown that measles infection suppresses the immune system for up to 3 years after infection, increasing the risk of death due to other childhood infections during that time. This means that prevention of measles significantly impacts overall health during critical childhood years.

Mina, M.J., Metcalf, C.J. de Swart, R.L., et al 2015. Long-term measles-induced immunomodulation increases overall childhood infectious disease mortality. Science. 348(6235).
View Publication >