Journal Article

Soil transmitted helminthic infection and its effect on nutritional status of adolescent schoolgirls of low socioeconomic status in Sri Lanka

TMS Atukorala and P Lanerolle

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 45, issue 1, pages 18-22
Published in print February 1999 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online February 1999 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tropej/45.1.18
Soil transmitted helminthic infection and its effect on nutritional status of adolescent schoolgirls of low socioeconomic status in Sri Lanka

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The prevalence of soil-transmitted helminthic infection, living conditions, and practices relating to personal hygiene were studied in schoolgirls (age 14-18 years) in both an urban area (n = 383) and a rural area (n = 231) of Sri Lanka. The impact of helminthic infection in nutritional status was also studied. The prevalence of Ascaris and Trichuris infection was significantly higher (p <0.00001) in the urban area than in the rural area and this was associated with poor living conditions and personal hygiene. In contrast, the prevalence of hookworm infection was similar in the two areas. Less than 3 per cent of subjects had moderate or heavy infection. Trichuriasis was the commonest helminthic infection and was associated with significantly lower serum vitamin A concentrations than in uninfected subjects. There was no significant difference in body mass index or haemoglobin concentration between infected and uninfected subjects. Our results show that even mild infection with Trichuris had adverse effects on vitamin A status.

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Subjects: Paediatrics ; Antitrust Issues and Policies

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