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J Trop Pediatr. 1990 Aug;36(4):189-91.

Effect of ascariasis upon nutritional status of children.

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  • 1Human Nutrition Unit, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi.


One hundred children aged 24-72 months who had history of passing roundworms during the preceding 12 months were compared with 100 children without such history. The two groups were matched for age, sex, economic status, and birth order. Children who had ascaris were 2.1 cm shorter in height, 0.6 cm, thinner for mid-arm circumference, and 0.38 kg lighter in weight compared to the children who did not pass ascaris. The first two of these differences were statistically significant (P less than 0.005). It is concluded that: 1. ascariasis contributes significantly to malnutrition in communities where both coexist; 2. periodic deworming should form part of community nutrition programmes in areas where ascariasis is common; 3. future studies of a similar nature should include recording of height, arm circumference, and birth order.

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