A longitudinal cohort study of soil-transmitted helminth infections during the second year of life and associations with reduced long-term cognitive and verbal abilities

Brittany Blouin, Martin Casapia, Lawrence Joseph, Theresa W. Gyorkos

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Background: Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infection leads to malnutrition and anemia, and has been linked to impaired child development. Previous research on this topic is limited and mostly conducted in school-age children. The goal of this study was to determine the effect of the number of detected STH infections between one and two years of age on subsequent cognitive and verbal abilities, in a cohort of preschool children. Methodology/Principal findings: A longitudinal cohort study was conducted in 880 children in Iquitos, Peru between September 2011 and July 2016. Children were recruited at one year of age and followed up at 18 months and then annually between two and five years of age. STH infection was measured with the Kato-Katz technique or the direct smear technique. Child development was measured with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-III at the one to three-year visits and with the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-III at the four and five-year visits. Hierarchical multivariable linear regression models were used to account for the repeated outcome measures for each child and Bayesian latent class analysis was used to adjust for STH misclassification. Children found infected with any STH infection between one and two years of age had lower cognitive scores between two and five years of age (between group score differences (95% credible intervals) for infected once, and infected two or three times, compared to never infected: -4.31 (-10.64, -0.14) and -3.70 (-10.11, -0.11), respectively). Similar results were found for Ascaris infection and for verbal scores. Conclusions/Significance: An association was found between having been infected with Ascaris or any STH between one and two years of age and lower cognitive and verbal abilities later in childhood. These results suggest that targeting children for STH control as of one year of age is particularly important.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículoe0006688
PublicaciónPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volumen12
N.º7
DOI
EstadoPublicada - 27 jul. 2018
Publicado de forma externa

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