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RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INTENSITY OF SOIL-TRANSMITTED HELMINTH INFECTIONS AND ANEMIA DURING PREGNANCY

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  • 1 Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Montreal General Hospital, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada; Asociacion Civil Selva Amazonica, Iquitos, Peru; Instituto de Medicina Tropical “Alexander von Humboldt,” Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru

A direct relationship exists between the intensity of hookworm infection and blood loss. Other parasites may also contribute to blood loss. Our objective was to assess the relationship between the intensity of soil-transmitted helminth infections and anemia in pregnant women in a highly endemic area of Peru. Recruitment occurred between April and November 2003. Overall, 47.31% of 1,042 women had anemia (hemoglobin < 11 g/dL), 47.22% were infected with hookworm and 82.25% with Trichuris. Prevalences of infections were not associated with anemia. However, those infected with moderate and heavy intensities of hookworm infection (OR = 1.84; 95% CI: 1.06, 3.17) and those with moderate and heavy intensities of both hookworm and Trichuris infections (OR = 2.13; 95% CI: 1.10, 4.13) were more likely to suffer from anemia than women having no or light intensities. These results support routine anthelminthic treatment within prenatal care programs in highly endemic areas.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Theresa W. Gyorkos, Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Montreal General Hospital, 1650 Cedar Avenue, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1A4. E-mail: theresa.gyorkos@mcgill.ca.
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