This article was presented at the 2008 AAPA meeting in a symposium in honor of A. Roberto Frisancho, on the occasion of his retirement from the Department of Anthropology of the University of Michigan.
Original Research Article
Influence of helminth infections on childhood nutritional status in lowland Bolivia†
Article first published online: 28 APR 2009
Copyright © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Human Biology
Special Issue: Special Section: Symposium in Honor of A. Roberto Frisancho
Volume 21, Issue 5, pages 651–656, September/October 2009
How to Cite
Tanner, S., Leonard, W.R., Mcdade, T.W., Reyes-Garcia, V., Godoy, R. and Huanca, T. (2009), Influence of helminth infections on childhood nutritional status in lowland Bolivia. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 21: 651–656. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.20944
- Issue published online: 3 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 28 APR 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 MAR 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 25 FEB 2009
- Manuscript Received: 10 NOV 2008
- National Science Foundation. Grant Number: 0200767
Infectious disease, such as diarrheal disease, respiratory infections, and parasitic infections, are an important source of nutritional and energetic stress in many populations. Inspired by the research and methodological innovations of A. Roberto Frisancho, this work considers the impact of childhood environment and local disease ecology on child health and nutritional patterns among an indigenous group in lowland Bolivia. Specifically, we examine the association between soil-transmitted helminth infection, especially hookworm species, and anthropometric markers of short- and long-term nutritional status. Fecal samples, anthropometric dimensions, and health interviews were collected for 92 children ranging in age from 2.0 to 10.9 years. Microscopic examination revealed high levels of parasitic infection, with 76% of children positive for hookworm species infections (77% of girls and 74% of boys). Less common infections included Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichurius trichiura, and Strongyloides stercoralis with only 15% of children positive for multiple-species infections. After adjusting for sex and age, no statistically significant associations were observed between helminth infections and the frequency of reported illness or anthropometric measures of nutritional status. These data demonstrate the difficulty of assessing nutritional impacts of endemic infections. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.