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Cent Eur J Public Health. 2013 Jun;21(2):104-8.

Pediculosis capitis: prevalence and its associated factors in primary school children living in rural and urban areas in Kayseri, Turkey.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Gülhane Military Medical Faculty, Ankara, Turkey.



The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of pediculosis capitis in schoolchildren living in rural and urban areas in Kayseri, a city located in central Anatolia in Turkey.


This cross-sectional school-based study was performed in 24 randomly selected public schools. A total of 8,122 schoolchildren aged 5-16 years, from kindergarten to eighth grade, were examined for the presence of pediculosis capitis. A child was defined as being infested by the presence of live or dead lice or eggs/nits. The results were analyzed using the chi-squared test and logistic regression analysis.


The overall prevalence of head lice infestation was 13.1%. Pediculosis was more frequent in girls (25.2%) than in boys (0.86%) (p < 0.001). The prevalence was lower in children aged 5-8 years than in those aged 9-11 or 12-16 years (p < 0.001). In multiple regression analyses, the variables demonstrating statistically significant association with pediculosis were: being a girl (OR = 40.93; 95% Cl = 29.06-57.66), being 9-11 years old (OR = 1.54; 95% Cl = 1.25-1.89), residing with > or = 3 siblings (OR = 1.98; 95% Cl = 1.57-2.50), having a mother with no education (OR = 1.73; 95% CI = 1.29-2.33), having a father with no education (OR = 1.45; 95% Cl = 1.08-1.94), living in a rural area (OR = 2.34; 95% Cl = 2.02-2.71) and living in a one-room house (OR = 2.39; 95% CI = 1.41-4.08).


Pediculosis capitis remains a health problem in schoolchildren in Kayseri, Turkey. In addition to improvement in socioeconomic status, collaborative and participation efforts among physicians, nurses, teachers, and parents are necessary to maintain effective epidemiological surveillance and provide treatment.

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