Association between geohelminth infections and physical growth in schoolchildren

Associação entre infecções geohelminticas e crescimento físico de escolares

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess the association between geohelminth infections and the physical growth of schoolchildren. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study with the participation of 1861 children aging from 7 to 14 years who live in a municipality in the Southern region (Recôncavo) of the State of Bahia. The participants were submitted to anthropometric assessment and stool tests. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used as the statistical means to determine the association of interest. RESULTS: The risks of stunting were greater among boys with Ascaris lumbricoides (Odds ratio=1.79; confidence interval 95%: 1.07-3.01), Trichuris trichiura (Odds ratio=2.26; confidence interval 95%: 1.33-3.84) and ancylostomiasis (Odds ratio=2.18; confidence interval 95%: 1.28-3.73) when compared with non-infected children. These results remained unchanged after adjustments for the location of the school, children's ages and other geohelminth infections. CONCLUSION: These infections did not compromise girls´ growth. These results emphasize the association between geohelminth infection and linear physical growth, indicating the need to implement preventive and curative measures that allow the quality of life of the children to improve since the repercussion that these parasites have on the nutritional status and health of this population is severe.

Child; Growth; Helminthiasis; School health

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