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Climate Anomalies and Childhood Growth in Peru


Nicholas, Khristopher M.; Campbell, Leah; Paul, Emily; Skeltis, Gioia; Wang, Wenbo; & Gray, Clark L. (Online ahead of print). Climate Anomalies and Childhood Growth in Peru. Population and Environment.


Climate change has been linked to poor childhood growth and development through maternal stress, nutritional insults related to lean harvests, and exposure to infectious diseases. Vulnerable populations are often most susceptible to these stressors. This study tested whether susceptibility to linear growth faltering is higher among Peruvian children from indigenous, rural, low-education, and low-income households. High-resolution weather and household survey data from Demographic and Health Survey 1996–2012 were used to explore height-for-age z-scores (HAZ) at each year of life from 0 to 5. Rural, indigenous children at age 0–1 experience a HAZ reduction of 0.35 units associated with prenatal excess rainfall which is also observed at age 4–5. Urban, non-indigenous children at age 4–5 experience a HAZ increase of 0.07 units associated with postnatal excess rainfall, but this advantage is not seen among rural, indigenous children. These findings highlight the need to consider developmental stage and social predictors as key components in public health interventions targeting increased climate change resilience.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type


Year Published

Online ahead of print

Journal Title

Population and Environment


Nicholas, Khristopher M.
Campbell, Leah
Paul, Emily
Skeltis, Gioia
Wang, Wenbo
Gray, Clark L.

Data Set/Study

Demographic and Health Survey (DHS)