(1/372) Role of intergenerational effects on linear growth.

Current knowledge on the role of intergenerational effects on linear growth is reviewed on the basis of a literature search and recent findings from an ongoing study in Guatemala. Fourteen studies were identified, most of which examined the intergenerational relationships in birth weight. Overall, for every 100 g increase in maternal birth weight, her child's birth weight increased by 10-20 g. The study samples were primarily from developed countries, and birth weight data were extracted from hospital records and/or birth registries. Among the few studies that examined associations between the adult heights of parents and their offspring, correlation coefficients of 0.42-0.5 were reported. None of the studies examined intergenerational relationships in birth length or linear growth patterns during early childhood, preadolescence and/or adolescence. Prospectively collected data from long-term studies being carried out in rural Guatemala provide the first evidence of intergenerational relationships in birth size in a developing country setting. Data were available for 215 mother-child pairs. Maternal birth size was a significant predictor (P < 0.05) of child's birth size after adjusting for gestational age and sex of the child and other potential confounders. Child's birth weight increased by 29 g/100 g increase in maternal birth weight which is nearly twice that reported in developed countries. Similarly, child's birth length increased by 0.2 cm for every 1 cm increase in mother's birth length. The effect of maternal birth weight remained significant even after adjusting for maternal adult size. More evidence from developing countries will help explain the underlying mechanisms and identify appropriate interventions to prevent growth retardation.  (+info)

(2/372) Neurocysticercosis in an Italian traveler to Latin America.

Neurocysticercosis is rarely reported in short-term travelers, although the disease remains a major public health problem in tropical regions. We present a case of neurocysticercosis that was probably acquired by ingestion of Taenia solium eggs contained in the stomach of a pig butchered by the traveler. Complete clinical resolution was obtained by medical treatment, underlying the importance of early suspicion and diagnosis of the disease.  (+info)

(3/372) The relationship of family size and spacing to the growth of preschool Mayan children in Guatemala.

The height of preschool Mayan children is analyzed with respect to family size and the spacing of their siblings, controlling for parental heights and weights. Data on 643 cases were abstracted from the records of two previous longitudinal studies on the health of children under age five years living in the highlands of Guatemala. Height at age three years is estimated from the linear regression equations fitted for each child to measurements of height repeated at three-month intervals from ages one to four years. Family size is expressed in terms of birth rank, live siblings, and the number of dependent and independent family members. Family spacing is measured as birth intervals, i.e., the number of months between the birth of the index child and his previous and subsequent siblings. Most previous studies have reported that height decreases as family size increases. This study shows that Mayan children from both small and large families are taller than those from middle-sized families. Evidence is presented to support the hypothesis that children in large families are relatively tall because their early-born siblings contribute to the family fortunes. Birth intervals are positively correlated with height. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for family planning.  (+info)

(4/372) Knowledge, attitudes and practices during a community-level ivermectin distribution campaign in Guatemala.

Community acceptance and participation are essential for the success of mass ivermectin chemotherapy programmes for onchocerciasis (river blindness). To explore the local understanding of the purpose of ivermectin and willingness to continue taking the drug, we performed questionnaire surveys in four communities with hyperendemic onchocerciasis after each of three ivermectin treatment rounds. More than 100 respondents participated in each KAP survey, representing the heads of 30% of the households in each community. The respondents rarely stated that the goal of the ivermectin treatment programme was to prevent visual loss. Instead, they said they were taking the drug for their general well-being, to cure the onchocercal nodule (filaria), or to cure the microfilaria, a term newly introduced by agents of the treatment programme. The principal reason identified for refusal to take ivermectin was anxiety about drug-related adverse reactions, and there were marked differences between communities in acceptance of treatment. In one community over 50% of residents initially refused to take ivermectin, although participation rates improved somewhat after programmatic adjustments. We recommend that ivermectin distribution programmes establish surveillance activities to detect where acceptance is poor, so that timely and community-specific adjustments may be devised to improve participation.  (+info)

(5/372) Latino beliefs about diabetes.

OBJECTIVE: To describe Latino beliefs about diabetes and assess heterogeneity in beliefs across different groups. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This study comprised a survey of 161 representative Latino adults from four diverse communities: Hartford, Connecticut; Edinburg, Texas; Guadalajara, Mexico; and rural Guatemala. A 130-item questionnaire covered causes symptoms, and treatments for diabetes. Information on demographics and acquaintanceship with someone with diabetes was also collected. The cultural consensus model was used to analyze the variation in responses to determine whether the degree of consistency within and between samples was sufficient to warrant aggregation and description as a single set of beliefs. RESULTS: Homogeneous beliefs were present within each of the four samples. Although variability in responses increased significantly from Connecticut to Guatemala (P < 0.00005), there was significant agreement between samples on the answers (P < 0.0005). Answers tended to be concordant with the biomedical description of diabetes. Greater acculturation, higher educational attainment, and higher diabetes prevalence were associated with greater cultural knowledge about diabetes. In Connecticut, greater knowledge correlated with longer mainland U.S. residency (P < 0.05). In Mexico, those with average educational attainment knew more (P < 0.05). Finally, average knowledge levels were higher in communities with greater diabetes prevalence. CONCLUSIONS: The cultural consensus model facilitated assessment of cultural beliefs regarding diabetes and diabetes management. Overall, Latino cultural beliefs about diabetes were concordant with the biomedical model. Variation in responses tended to characterize less knowledge or experience with diabetes and not different beliefs.  (+info)

(6/372) Utility of the polymerase chain reaction in detection of Trypanosoma cruzi in Guatemalan Chagas' disease vectors.

For effective control programs, accurate assessment of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in vectors is essential and has traditionally been performed by microscopic examination. For particular vectors and not others, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of fecal samples recently has been shown to be an effective means of detection. The sensitivities of the PCR and microscopy for detection of T. cruzi in different anatomic sites were compared in the two major vectors of Guatemala, Triatoma dimidiata and Rhodnius prolixus. Preliminary studies established that T. cruzi can be detected by the PCR in the presence of 90% T. rangeli. One hundred thirty-five vectors were collected, and samples were obtained from the rectum, intestines, and stomach and analyzed by microscopy and the PCR. For Triatoma dimidiata rectal samples, the PCR sensitivity (39.1% T. cruzi positive) and the microscopic sensitivity (24.6% positive) was not significantly different. However, in R. prolixus, the PCR proved significantly more sensitive than microscopy: 57.6% positive by PCR compared with 22.7% by microscopy. Rectal samples showed the highest rates of infection followed by intestine and stomach samples. However, 10.5% of the Rhodnius infections would have been missed if only the rectal sample had been analyzed. Thus, the PCR is significantly more sensitive than microscopy for detection of T. cruzi in R. prolixus. Analysis of anatomic sites in addition to the rectal sample may be necessary for accurate assessment of infection in particular vectors.  (+info)

(7/372) Surveying vendors of street-vended food: a new methodology applied in two Guatemalan cities.

Lack of reliable data about street vendors, who are difficult to survey, has hampered efforts to improve the safety of street-vended food. A two-phase method for sampling vendors, surveying first in areas of concentrated vending activity identified by local authorities and second in randomly selected areas, was developed and implemented in two Guatemalan cities where street-vended food had been implicated in cholera transmission. In a 4-day survey in Escuintla, 59 vendors (42 from phase 1, 17 from phase 2) were interviewed. They demonstrated good knowledge of food safety and cholera but unsafe practices, implying that more effective, practical training was needed. In a 6-day survey in Guatemala City, 78 vendors (77 from phase 1, 1 from phase 2) were interviewed. Sixty-eight (87 %) vendors stored water, usually in wide-mouthed vessels prone to contamination; this led to a field test of a new system for safe water storage. Useful information for public health planning and intervention can be gathered rapidly with this new method for surveying street vendors.  (+info)

(8/372) Nutritional status of Helicobacter pylori-infected children in Guatemala as compared with uninfected peers.

The effect of Helicobacter pylori infection on the nutritional status of children in a developing country was studied using a cross-sectional design. Children attending an all-girl public school in inner Guatemala City, Guatemala were evaluated to acquire sociodemographic information and anthropometric nutritional parameters (weight-for-height [WFH] and height-for-age [HFA]), and detect H. pylori-specific serum IgG antibodies. Of 211 children 5-10 years of age, 107 (51%) were infected. The WFH values were not different between infected and uninfected subjects, and were not affected by the sociodemographic variables. The HFA values decreased significantly with age (P = 0.008), lower income (P = 0.04), and H. pylori infection (P = 0.05). When controlled for age and income level, the effect of infection on HFA became nonsignificant (P = 0.30). Helicobacter pylori appeared to have no effect on the nutritional status of the studied children; the differences detected were small and likely due to sociodemographic factors.  (+info)