Background: Soil transmitted helminths (STH) remain a global public health concern in spite of occasional dosing campaigns. Aims: To determine baseline prevalence and intensity of STH infection in east Guatemalan school children, and describe the associated epidemiology of anemia, stunting, and wasting in this population. Setting and design: Ten schools in Izabal province (eastern Guatemala) were identified, and 1,001 school children were selected for this study. Half of the schools were used as clinical testing sites (blood and stool). Materials and Methods: Anthropometric measures were collected from all children. Over 300 children were tested for anemia and 229 for helminth infection. Ova and parasite specimens were examined via Direct, Kato Katz, and McMaster techniques. Hemoglobin was measured from venipuncture following the hemacue system. Statistical analysis: Correlation between infection intensities and growth indicators were examined. Chi Square or t tests were used for bivariate analysis. Multiple logistic regression was performed on significant variables from bivariate techniques. Results: Over two-thirds of school children were positive for infection by any STH. Prevalence of Hookworm was 30%; Ascaris, 52%; and Trichuris, 39%, most as low-intensity infection. Over half of the children were co-infected. In bivariate analysis, anemia was significantly associated with polyparasitism. Conclusions: For a Guatemalan child who experiences a unit decrease in hemoglobin, one expects to see a 24% increase in the odds of being infected with STH, controlling for age, sex, lake proximity, and growth characteristics. Infection with more than one STH, despite low intensity, led to a significant decrease in hemoglobin.
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Date of publication
Orsak, Gabriela; Allen, Carlton M.; Sorensen, William; and McGaha, Paul, "Risk of Colorectal Polyps and Malignancies Among Predominantly Rural Hispanics" (2018). Health and Kinesiology Faculty Publications and Presentations. Paper 37.