Giardiasis and poor vitamin A status among aboriginal school children in rural Malaysia

Al-Mekhlafi, H.M. and Surin, J. and Sallam, A.A. and Abdullah, A.W. and Mahdy, M.A.K. (2010) Giardiasis and poor vitamin A status among aboriginal school children in rural Malaysia. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 83 (3). pp. 523-527. ISSN 0002-9637,

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A cross-sectional study was carried out on 241 primary schoolchildren in Pahang, Malaysia to update their vitamin A status and to investigate the association of poor vitamin A status with their health and socioeconomic factors. All children were screened for intestinal parasitic infections. Blood samples were collected and vitamin A status was assessed. Socioeconomic data were collected by using pre-tested questionnaires. The results showed that 66 (27.4) children had low serum retinol levels (< 0.70 μmol/L). Giardiasis and severe ascariasis were significantly associated with low serum retinol levels (P = 0.004 and P = 0.018, respectively). Logistic regression confirmed the significant association of giardiasis with low serum retinol (odds ratio = 2.7, 95 confidence interval = 1.3�5.5). In conclusion, vitamin A deficiency is still a public health problem in rural Malaysia. Vitamin A supplementation and treatment of intestinal parasitic infections should be distributed periodically to these children to improve their health and nutritional status.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Address correspondence to Hesham M. Al-Mekhlafi, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia. E-mail:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Parasitology
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: jsurin johari surin
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2012 06:28
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2017 05:57

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