Prevalence and correlation of soil transmitted helminth infection to the degree of anemia and nutritional status among pediatric patients of age group 6-14 years in Kishanganj, Bihar, India

Santosh Kumar, Jasninder Singh, Abhay Kumar


Background: Intestinal parasites are a major public health problem in tropical and sub­tropical countries, affecting the physical growth and cognitive development in school age children. This study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of various helminthes, the symptomatology and clinical manifestations of various helminthes and to correlate the nutritional status with the type of helminthic infestation.

Methods: Cross-sectional study involving children aged 6­14 years attending pediatric outpatient department in MGM Medical College, Kishanganj who were screened to estimate the prevalence of soil transmitted helminthes.

Results: Out of the 500 children examined, 275 children were positive for one or other helminthic ova in the stool samples giving overall incidence of 55 %. Ascariasis was most common with 58.2% among all the positive cases, hookworm 7.3%, trichuris trichura 14.5%, hymenolepsis nana 3.6%, taenia saginata 1.8% while mixed infestations constitute 14.5%. There was no significant association of gender and infestation (p value >0.05). Patients on non-vegetarian diet were more prone to get infested (Chi- square value = 19.48, p value<0.05). Children with low socio economic status were more likely to have intestinal parasites (Chi-square value = 63.32, p value<0.05). Out of the 275 children with helminthic infestation, 150 children were found anaemic. Out of the 160 children positive for ascariasis, 110 children were anaemic (68.80%). Mild degree of anemia had statically more significant association with ascariasis, Hookworm infestation and mixed infestation in comparison to moderate to severe anemia (p value<0.05). Poor nutritional status was found significantly associated with risk of worm infestations (Chi-square value = 243.48, p value <0.05).

Conclusions: This study demonstrated the results similar to other studies of various authors all over India regarding helminthic infestation with respect to epidemiology, clinical manifestations and relation with nutritional status. Helminthic infestations can be brought down by simple measures such as mass education, good personal hygiene, proper and safe disposal of faecal wastes, proper sanitation, and clean eating habits and by periodic deworming of children.


Ascaris, Hookworm, Intestinal parasites, Soil-transmitted helminths, Trichuris

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