Abstract

We present the results of the first stage of the Program for the Control of Intestinal Parasitosis and Nutrition, analyzing the frequency of anemia and its relation with intestinal parasitic infections and socio-cultural and environmental factors present in school children from a semirural community of Argentina. A total of 123 children aged 4–8 years were interviewed; 93 (75.6%) of them showed up for blood extraction and a fecal sample was taken properly. The frequency of anemia was 33.3%; 45.0% in children aged 4–5 years and 24.5% in those aged 6–8 years (p=0.038). Intestinal parasites were found in 83.9% of the children; 75.0% in children aged 4–5 years and 90.6% in those aged 6–8 years (p=0.043). No statistical differences were found when relating parasitic infections, social/cultural variables and housing characteristic with anemia, probably of nutritional origin. This study reveals the coexistence of anemia and parasitic infections in apparently healthy children who were unnoticed by the conventional public health system.