Intestinal helminths and their influence on the indicators of iron status in the elderly.J Nutr Health Aging. 1997; 1(3):167-73.JN
The intestinal helminthiasis and hematological status was assessed in 100 elderly residents of two low-land communities, one at sea-level and the other at 61; m, equally representative of men and women. These are beth low-income communities. The population showed a 48% helminth infection rate which consisted of hookworm, Trichuris, and Ascaris infection. The prevalence of each of the individual parasites was considered light to moderate and the intensity of infection was generally low in this population. A strong inverse association between intensity of hookworm infection and hemoglobin levels was observed but only at intensities greater than 2,000 eggs/gram feces. Lower intensities of infection had no apparent influence on hematological status. The evaluation of hematological status using hematocrit and hemoglobin showed different prevalences of risk of anemia of 14.1% and 43.8%, respectively. These differences may reflect the chosen cut-off values. Iron deficiency does not appear to be a major problem in this population with only 5% or 11% having absent stores using the low and high cut-off values of circulating serum ferritin, respectively.