Revista Paulista de Pediatria
Print version ISSN 0103-0582
ARAUJO FILHO, Humberto B. et al. Intestinal parasitoses are associated with lower values of weight and height in school-aged children from low socioeconomic level. Rev. paul. pediatr. [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.4, pp. 521-528. ISSN 0103-0582. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-05822011000400009.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between the prevalence of intestinal parasitosis with socioeconomic and environmental factors, as well as with weight, height and hemoglobin levels in two different socioeconomic groups of children in Osasco (SP), Brazil. METHODS: This cross-sectional study compared 84 children aged from six to ten years old from a slum area without proper sanitation and poor housing with 35 children attending private school with good socioeconomic level and housing conditions in the same city. Children with diarrhea for less than 30 days or severe illness were excluded. A standard questionnaire was applied for assessing social and environmental conditions. The nutritional assessment was done by Z scores for weight for age, height for age and body mass index. Capillary blood hemoglobin determination was done by HemoCue® method and intestinal parasitosis examination was performed by the Hoffman, Ritchie, Kinyoun and anal swab methods. RESULTS: Intestinal parasitosis occurred in 60.7% of children from the slum and in 5.9% of children from private schools (p<0.001; OR 24.7). The average Z scores of weight for age, height for age and body mass index were lower in infected children (-0.78±0.84; +0.50±0.90; -0.76±0.96) compared to non infected children (-0.18±1.18; +0.03±1.10; -0.28±1.16) with statistical differences (p<0.05). There was no difference in average hemoglobin levels between infected and non infected children by intestinal parasitosis in the slum group (12.6±1.1g/dL and 12.8±1.2g/dL); p=0.58. CONCLUSIONS: Intestinal parasitosis were more prevalent among children from the slum and were associated with lower weight and height.
Keywords : parasitic diseases; child nutrition; anemia.