versão impressa ISSN 0120-4157
ALVARADO, Beatriz Eugenia e VASQUEZ, Luis Reinel. Social determinants, feeding practices and nutritional consequences of intestinal parasitism in young children. Biomédica [online]. 2006, vol.26, n.1, pp. 81-81. ISSN 0120-4157.
Introduction. Studies on intestinal intestinal parasitism in children under 2 years of age have rarely been performed. The nutritional consequences and feasibility of parasite prevention justify the current study. Objectives. The study was undertaken with 3 goals: (1) to identify the prevalence of pathogenic intestinal parasites (PIP), (2) to determine the social factors, sanitary conditions and nutritional practices that predict PIP, and (3) to evaluate PIP effects on infant nutritional status. Materials and methods. All mothers with children under 18 months of age and living in an urban community of coastal Colombia were invited to participate in the PIP study. A fecal sample was obtained from each of 136 children; they represented 62% of the total 7-18 month-old population in the community. Presence of intestinal parasites was identified by direct microscopy and confirmed by a concentration test (Ritchie-Frick procedure). Logistic regressions were used to predict presence of PIP. The Z scores of length-for-age (< -2 SD-chronic malnutrition) and weight-for-length (< -2 SD-acute malnutrition) and covariance analysis were done to detect associations between intestinal parasitism and nutritional status. Results. Of the 136 children, 30.6 % were infected; 26.2% had helminth infections ( A. lumbricoides, T. trichiura, S. stercoralis), 14.9% had protozoan infections ( G. lamblia) and 11.8% had mixed infections. Wasting and stunting were present in 2.9% and 12.5%, respectively. Lack of sanitary toilet facilities and low maternal education were related to mixed infections and presence of helminths (p<0.05). Weaned children were at greater risk of mixed infections (Odds Ratio (OR) 6.5; 90% CI: 1.9-21.5) and of G. lamblia infections (OR: 2.89; 90% CI: 1.0-8.34). Children infected with T. trichiura and with mixed infections were more likely to show wasting (p<0.05). Conclusion. The high infections in young children indicate that they be included in periodic antiparasitic chemotherapy. Burden of disease associated to intestinal parasitism may be reduced if breastfeeding is continued beyond 6 months of age.
Palavras-chave : intestinal diseases; parasitic; infant; nutritional status; risk factors; Colombia.