Association between Intestinal Helminthiasis and Serum Ferritin Levels Among School Children

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DOI: 10.4236/ojped.2011.12004   PDF   HTML     5,323 Downloads   10,032 Views   Citations

Abstract

Background: Significant iron deficiency anaemia is a major concern in children with helminthiasis, because it may eventually contribute to the growing health challenges of severe anaemia This descriptive cross sectional study was carried out to determine the association between serum ferritin levels and intestinal helminthiasis among school children. Methods: A structured questionnaire was used to collect the study population data. Stool specimens were obtained and examined on the same day using the sedimentation method for identification of the parasite. Blood samples were also obtained for full blood count and serum ferritin measurement. Results: A total of 246 school children were studied with a response rate of 82%. The prevalence of intestinal helminthiasis was 29.7%. The different helminthes identified included Ascaris lumbricoides, Necator americanus, Trichuris trichiura, Strongyloides stercoralis. Of the population studied, 36.2% were anaemic, 15.9% had microcytosis, and 47.6% had hypochromia. The prevalence of ex-hausted iron stores was 3.7%. Serum ferritin levels were significantly lower in children with intestinal helminthiasis compared with controls. Conclusions: The findings in this study demonstrate an inverse re-lationship between intestinal helminthiasis and serum ferritin levels and this is more marked in pupils with hookworm infections. The control of intestinal hel-minthiasis and prevention of iron deficiency anaemia should be given high priority in the implementation of the school health programme.

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Adebara, O. , Ernest, S. and Ojuawo, I. (2011) Association between Intestinal Helminthiasis and Serum Ferritin Levels Among School Children. Open Journal of Pediatrics, 1, 12-16. doi: 10.4236/ojped.2011.12004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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