Trichuriasis and low-iron status in schoolchildren from Northwest Mexico

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Background/Objectives:The aim of this study was to investigate the association between trichuriasis and iron status in rural schoolchildren from Northwest Mexico.Subjects/Methods:A total of 73 schoolchildren (37 boys, 36 girls) between the ages of 6 and 10 years were voluntarily recruited from the public primary school of the rural community of El Higueral in Culiacan, Sinaloa (Northwest Mexico) for a cross-sectional study with a longitudinal follow-up of 5 weeks. Data were collected on socioeconomic status, anthropometry, haematological and biochemical indices of iron status, daily iron intake, and prevalence and intensity of trichuriasis. Multiple regression models, independent t-test and paired t-test were used to analyse the association between trichuriasis and iron status in cross-sectional and longitudinal samples, respectively. Adjusted models were tested for linear regression assumptions using residual plots.Results:The mean age of the Trichuris-free and Trichuris-infected groups was 7.7±1.3 and 7.7±1.5 years respectively (P=0.92). The height for age was significantly higher in the Trichuris-free group than the Trichuris-infected group (P=0.02). No differences were found in the socioeconomic variables between the two groups. At baseline, significantly higher concentrations of haemoglobin, haematocrit, blood cell count (RBC) and serum iron were measured in the Trichuris-free group compared with the Trichuris-infected children (P<0.05). An association was found between trichuriasis and haemoglobin adjusted for socioeconomic variables, age and sex. Haemoglobin, RBC and serum ferritin concentrations were significantly increased in the infected children 5 weeks after treatment (P<0.05).Conclusions:Trichuriasis could be a risk factor for low-iron status in the schoolchildren of Northwest Mexico.

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