Cobo GinÃ©s, P1; MartÃn-Turrero, I1; MarrodÃ¡n Serrano, MD1,2; MartÃnez Ãlvarez, JR1,3; LÃ³pez Ejeda, N1,3; Villarino MarÃn, AL1,3; Pedrero-TomÃ©, R1,2
Introduction: Stunting is a public health problem that affects 155 million children under the age of five worldwide. A malnourished child is more susceptible to infections such as intestinal parasites caused by helminths and protozoa. These diseases damage health status, contributing to the vicious circle between malnutrition and infection.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to analyse the relationship between abdominal distension and growth retardation.
Methods: The sample was 161 children aged 3-6 years attending a school in Mizantéferi, Ethiopia. They were classified according to height-for-age according to WHO growth references, as well as according to their degree of abdominal distension.
Results: There is an association (p < 0.005) between growth retardation and abdominal distension. The change from mild to moderate or moderate to severe malnutrition increases the risk of abdominal distension 1.67 times (CI95% 1.19 - 2.38).
Conclusions: Abdominal distension is an easily recognized indicator that warns of potential intestinal parasitosis.