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Revista Paulista de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0103-0582On-line version ISSN 1984-0462


BISCEGLI, Terezinha Soares et al. Nutritional status and enteroparasitosis prevalence among children enrolled in a day care center. Rev. paul. pediatr. [online]. 2009, vol.27, n.3, pp.289-295. ISSN 1984-0462.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the nutritional status and the prevalence of intestinal parasitic diseases among children enrolled in a day care center. METHODS: This cross-sectional study comprised 133 children, aged seven to 78 months, assisted in a nonprofit day care center in Catanduva, SP, Brazil. The nutritional status was classified according to WHO/2006 and NCHS/2000 curves (younger and older than five years, respectively). Faecal samples were collected for parasite examination. Z scores of weight/height were used to classify acute malnutrition (Z<-2) and obesity (Z >2), and height/age to classify past and chronic malnutrition (Z<-2). Statistical analyses were performed by Z test for proportions, beeing significant p<0.05. RESULTS: Among the evaluated children, 0.8% presented acute malnutrition, 1.5% past malnutrition and 6% obesity. Nutritional disorders were more prevalent among boys. The prevalence of intestinal parasites was 29.2%. The parasites identified were Giardia lamblia (73.6%), Entamoeba coli and yeasts (10.5% each) and Endolimax nana (7.9%). Children aged 25 to 60 months presented more parasites (60.5%). Entamoeba coli and yeasts were more prevalent among malnourished children in comparison to eutrophic children. CONCLUSIONS: Nutritional transition was observed in this study. Improvement in life conditions contributed to the disappearance of some parasites, but not of giardiasis. It is important to adopt effective preventive measures against childhood obesity and protozoan infestations in the day care center as much as in children's homes.

Keywords : child; child day care centers; nutritional status; parasitic diseases.

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