Child Growth, Nutritional Status, and Schistosomiasis Japonica in Jiangxi, People's Republic of China

Stephen T. McGarveyDivision of Geographic Medicine, Department of Medicine, The Miriam Hospital, and The International Health Institute, Brown University, Department of Parasitology, Nanjing Medical College, Jiangxi Institute for Parasitic Diseases, Providence, Rhode Island, People's Republic of China

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Guanling WuDivision of Geographic Medicine, Department of Medicine, The Miriam Hospital, and The International Health Institute, Brown University, Department of Parasitology, Nanjing Medical College, Jiangxi Institute for Parasitic Diseases, Providence, Rhode Island, People's Republic of China

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Shoaji ZhangDivision of Geographic Medicine, Department of Medicine, The Miriam Hospital, and The International Health Institute, Brown University, Department of Parasitology, Nanjing Medical College, Jiangxi Institute for Parasitic Diseases, Providence, Rhode Island, People's Republic of China

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Yongjun WangDivision of Geographic Medicine, Department of Medicine, The Miriam Hospital, and The International Health Institute, Brown University, Department of Parasitology, Nanjing Medical College, Jiangxi Institute for Parasitic Diseases, Providence, Rhode Island, People's Republic of China

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Pierre PetersDivision of Geographic Medicine, Department of Medicine, The Miriam Hospital, and The International Health Institute, Brown University, Department of Parasitology, Nanjing Medical College, Jiangxi Institute for Parasitic Diseases, Providence, Rhode Island, People's Republic of China

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G. Richard OldsDivision of Geographic Medicine, Department of Medicine, The Miriam Hospital, and The International Health Institute, Brown University, Department of Parasitology, Nanjing Medical College, Jiangxi Institute for Parasitic Diseases, Providence, Rhode Island, People's Republic of China

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Peter M. WiestDivision of Geographic Medicine, Department of Medicine, The Miriam Hospital, and The International Health Institute, Brown University, Department of Parasitology, Nanjing Medical College, Jiangxi Institute for Parasitic Diseases, Providence, Rhode Island, People's Republic of China

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The association between schistosomiasis japonica and nutritional status and child growth was studied cross-sectionally in 239 males and females (age range 4–19.9 years) residing on Jishan Island in Po Yang Lake in an endemic region of Jiangxi, China. The presence of Schistosoma japonicum eggs in Kato stool smears and the intensity of schistosomiasis as assessed by quantitative egg count were determined, as were the presence of hookworm, Ascaris, and Trichuris eggs. Anthropometric measures included stature, weight, weight-for-height, upper arm muscle area, and the sum of triceps and subscapular skinfold thicknesses. The association between schistosomiasis and nutritional status and growth was analyzed with multivariable models adjusted for the influence of age, age2, and polyparasitism. The prevalence of schistosomiasis was approximately 70% in both males and females. Current schistosomiasis and its intensity were significantly related to reduced stature, weight, weight-for- height, and the sum of skinfolds (all P < 0.01) in females across the entire age-span. The greatest age-specific differences were during adolescence in females: 4 cm in height and 5 kg in weight. In males, intensity of schistosomiasis was related (P < 0.03) only to the sum of skinfolds. The cross-sectional associations between anthropometric reductions and schistosomiasis japonica in childhood and adolescence indicate a strong independent effect of infection on malnutrition and growth in this population from a highly endemic region of China.

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