High malnutrition rate in Venezuelan Yanomami compared to Warao Amerindians and Creoles: significant associations with intestinal parasites and anemia

L.M. Verhagen, R.N. Incani, C.R. Franco, A. Ugarte, Y. Cadenas, C.I. Sierra Ruiz, P.W. Hermans, D. Hoek, M. Campos Ponce, J.H. de Waard, E. Pinelli

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background:Children in rural areas experience the interrelated problems of poor growth, anemia and parasitic infections. We investigated the prevalence of and associations between intestinal helminth and protozoan infections, malnutrition and anemia in school-age Venezuelan children.Methods:This cross-sectional study was conducted in 390 children aged 4-16 years from three rural areas of Venezuela: the Amazon Region, Orinoco Delta and Carabobo State. Stool samples were collected for direct parasitic examinations. Anthropometric indicators of chronic (height-for-age Z score) and acute (weight-for-height and Body Mass Index (BMI)-for-age Z score in respectively children under 5 years of age and children aged 5 years and above) malnutrition were calculated. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were built to determine factors associated with nutritional status and polyparasitism.Results:Hookworm and Strongyloides stercoralis prevalences were highest in children from the Amazon rainforest (respectively 72% and 18%) while children from the Orinoco Delta and Carabobo State showed higher rates of Ascaris lumbricoides (respectively 28% and 37%) and Trichuris trichiura (40% in both regions). The prevalence of Giardia lamblia infection was not significantly different between regions (average: 18%). Anemia prevalence was highest in the Amazon Region (24%). Hemoglobin levels were significantly decreased in children with a hookworm infection. Malnutrition was present in respectively 84%, 30% and 13% of children from the Amazon Region, Orinoco Delta and Carabobo State. In multivariate analysis including all regions, G. lamblia and helminth infections were significantly and negatively associated with respectively height-for-age and weight-for-height/BMI-for-age Z scores. Furthermore, hemoglobin levels were positively associated with the height-for-age Z score (0.11, 95% CI 0.02 - 0.20).Conclusions:In rural populations in Venezuela helminthiasis and giardiasis were associated with acute and chronic nutritional status respectively. These data highlight the need for an integrated approach to control transmission of parasites and improve the health status of rural Venezuelan children. © 2013 Verhagen et al.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume2013
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'High malnutrition rate in Venezuelan Yanomami compared to Warao Amerindians and Creoles: significant associations with intestinal parasites and anemia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this