Garraza, M.1; Zonta, M. L.2; Oyhenart, E. E.1,3; Navone, G. T.2
Introduction: The growth of children and young people is considered a sensitive indicator of the quality of social, economic and political environment in which they live. This leads to the need to of a deeper understanding of the complex interaction between biological and environmental factors.
Objective: To analyze the nutritional status, body composition and enteroparasitoses in children from the department of San Rafael (Mendoza), taking into account the socio-environmental conditions of residence.
Methods: A cross-sectional anthropometric and parasitological study was made, on 615 children, both girls and boys, attending public school of the department of San Rafael, Mendoza. The NHANES III reference was employed to determine the nutritional status and body composition of the children. The parasitological analyses was made by means of the modified Ritchie concentration technique, and anal swabs were also taken. The socio-environmental characterization of each children was performed by semi-structured and self-administered interview.
Results: Nutritional status indicated higher chronic malnutrition (8.9%) followed by underweight (1.9%) and wasting (0.2%). At last, there was more obesity (10.4%) than overweight (9.1 %). The analysis of body composition of malnourished children indicated that 56.7% of the children had decreased muscle tissue and 1.7% adipose tissue. Also, 5% of the children with overweight had a decrease in the muscle tissue. Moreover, 62.4% of the population turned out parasitized by at least one species, with species richness of 10, and higher prevalences of Blastocystis hominis (45.0%) and Enterobius vermicularis (24.7%). The maternal educational level influenced in the malnutrition, as well as in the presence of intestinal parasites.
Conclusions: Undoubtedly maternal education plays an important role in the etiology of malnutrition, both by deficit or excess, and also in the parasitism. Likewise, precarious health conditions are critical in the development of intestinal parasites. The reversal of this situation and the eradication of chronicity should constitute a challenge for the authorities that are responsible for the design and implementation of health and education policies.