Volume 72, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The simultaneous impacts of parasitic infections and dietary intake on growth patterns were investigated for 427 children aged 10–13 years in the schistosomiasis-endemic Dongting Lake region of China. Height, weight, mid-upper arm circumference, and skinfold thicknesses (triceps, biceps, and subscapular) were measured, and eggs of , , and in the collected stool samples of each subject were detected by Kato-Katz thick smear technique. Long-term dietary intake of each subject was assessed with a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. The results demonstrate that the study children were retarded in growth compared with the standards of Chinese rural children; among them, the girls were more frequently infected for and had lower intakes of protein and energy. Reduced height, weight, and mid-upper arm circumference were noted in children infected with , most severely in the girls with the least energy and protein intakes. Multiple stepwise regression analysis indicated that growth retardation was significantly and substantially associated with infection and lack of protein-energy intakes. For child health programs, regular schistosomiasis screening and treatment in schoolchildren needs to be complemented by health and nutrition education for both children and parents. Also, special attention should be paid to educating parents about the needs of girls.


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  • Received : 21 May 2004
  • Accepted : 13 Aug 2004

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