Soil Transmitted Helminth Infections and its Association with Haemoglobin Levels in India: A Meta-analysis DC12-DC16
Dr. Nasir Salam,
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Al-Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Introduction: Soil Transmitted Helminth (STH) infections affect some of the poorest countries in the world. India is one of the most severely affected countries by these parasitic infections. They primarily affect children by impairing nutritional status, cognitive ability and overall development. Lower haemoglobin levels are a very common symptom associated with Helminth infections.
Aim: The present study was conducted to analyse the effect of STH infections on haemoglobin levels in India.
Materials and Methods: A systematic search of PubMed and Web of Science was carried out. We systematically reviewed the literature to identify studies reporting data on STH infection associated anaemia without any bar on language or date of publication. Full text studies reporting data on STH infection associated anaemia in humans were considered for final analysis.
Results: Careful screening resulted in 16 publications that met the eligibility criteria out of which six were case reports and ten were cross-sectional studies that reported data on helminth infections and haemoglobin levels. Odds ratio analysis of five cross-sectional reports indicated that Helminth infections are three times (OR-2.8, CI-95%, 2.4-3.4) more likely to be associated with lower haemoglobin levels as compared to uninfected population. An analysis of case reports indicated severe to moderate anaemia in all patients.
Conclusion: Helminth infections are often associated with lower haemoglobin levels resulting in lower cognitive development. We have found evidence that helminth infections are associated with lower haemoglobin levels in Indian population.
Implications of Key Findings: This study can provide a guideline to clinicians and healthcare professional in identifying a baseline for haemoglobin level associated with STH infection associated anaemia and might lead to more comprehensive analysis of reasons for anaemia, growth stunting and cognitive impairment in at risk Indian population.