Prevalence of intestinal helminths, anemia, and malnutrition in Paucartambo, Peru

Miguel M. Cabada, Mary R. Goodrich, Brittany Graham, Pablo G. Villanueva-Meyer, Emily L. Deichsel, Martha Lopez, Eulogia Arque, A. Clinton White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective. To evaluate the prevalence of soil-transmitted helminth infections, anemia, and malnutrition among children in the Paucartambo province of Cusco region, Peru, in light of demographic, socio-economic, and epidemiologic contextual factors. Methods. Children from three to twelve years old from six communities in Huancarani district in the highlands of Peru were evaluated for helminth infections, anemia, and nutritional status. Data collected included demographic variables, socioeconomic status, exposures, complete blood counts, and direct and sedimentation stool tests. Results. Of 240 children analyzed, 113 (47%) were infected with one or more parasites. Giardia (27.5%) and Fasciola (9.6%) were the most commonly identified organisms. Eosinophilia was encountered in 21% of the children. Anemia (48.8%) was associated with age (3-4 vs 5-12 years old; odds ratio (OR): 5.86; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.81-12.21). Underweight (10%) was associated with male sex (OR: 5.97; CI: 1.12-31.72), higher eosinophil count (OR: 4.67; CI: 1.31-16.68) and education of the mother (OR: 0.6; CI: 0.4-0.9). Stunting (31.3%) was associated with education of the mother (OR: 0.83; CI: 0.72-0.95); wasting (2.7%) was associated with higher eosinophil count (OR: 2.75; CI: 1.04-7.25). Conclusions. Anemia and malnutrition remain significant problems in the Peruvian highlands. These findings suggest that demographic factors, socio-economic status, and possibly parasitic infections intertwine to cause these health problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-75
Number of pages7
JournalRevista Panamericana de Salud Publica/Pan American Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Anemia
  • Helminths
  • Malnutrition
  • Parasites
  • Peru

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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