Malnutrition and infections are widespread in almost all developing countries. The aim of this study was to investigating prevalence and some of the determinants of malnutrition and intestinal parasitic infections among preschool children in Shahroud, Iran.
Materials and Methods
At across-sectional study, the all preschool children (1,850 cases), in Shahroud city as simple census, were selected. General information was collected using questionnaires and face-to-face interviews with the children’s parent. Stool specimens, collected fresh in paper cups, were examined by formalin-ether concentration. Also, the adhesive cellophane tape method was used to diagnose oxyuriasis. The nutritional status of the children’s was determined based on anthropometrics. Data were analyzed using the SPSS.
The prevalence of malnutrition, based on weight-for-age, height-for-age, and weight-for-height was 6.7, 5.8 and 7.7%, respectively. A third of children (35.1%) had parasites infections, including 22.8% pathogenic parasites and 26.4% non-pathogenic and 35.5% of children were infected to oxyuris. The prevalence of parasite infection in the boys (51.1%) was significantly higher than the girls (42.3%)). Also, a significant relationship was found between malnutrition (height-for-age) and parasitic infections (P<0.05).
The results of this study showed that about a third of children’ kindergarten of Shahroud infected to at least one intestinal parasitic infection and these infections can cause malnutrition in children's preschool.