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J Nutr. 1994 Aug;124(8):1199-206.

Physical activity and growth of Kenyan school children with hookworm, Trichuris trichiura and Ascaris lumbricoides infections are improved after treatment with albendazole.

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Program in International Nutrition, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-6301.


Growth, activity, appetite and intestinal helminth infections were compared for 55 Kenyan primary school children with hookworm (93% prevalence), T. trichiura (84% prevalence) and A. lumbricoides (29% prevalence) before and 9 wk after treatment with three 400-mg doses of albendazole (Zentel) or placebo. Fecal samples were examined for helminth eggs using a modified Kato technique. Activity was measured during free-play with motion recorders on the dominant thigh. Children rated their appetites on a 5-point scale. After baseline measurements, children were randomly allocated to the albendazole-treated (n = 28) and placebo (n = 27) groups, treated, and re-examined 9 wk later. At follow-up, egg counts were significantly lower than at baseline in the albendazole-treated group (P < or = 0.002), and gains in activity, reported appetite and most indices of growth were significantly greater for the albendazole-treated group than for the placebo group. We conclude that treatment of undernourished school children for intestinal helminth infections with albendazole may improve growth and appetite and increase spontaneous physical activity.

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