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To assess the impact of hookworm infection and preventive chemotherapy on haemoglobin levels in non-pregnant populations in endemic areas. Systematic review and meta-analysis searching PubMed and Web of Science for articles published since 2010 reporting either hookworm prevalence and Hb concentration (cross-sectional studies) or Hb concentration before and after the implementation of preventive chemotherapy (before-after studies and randomised controlled trials [RCTs]). For papers published before 2010, data were extracted from a previously published systematic review. Random effects meta-analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between Hb concentration and hookworm infection intensity (from cross-sectional studies) and the effect of preventive chemotherapy on Hb concentration (from before-after studies and RCTs). Sensitivity analyses investigated the impact of malaria endemicity and combined interventions for schistosomiasis and nutrition status on Hb concentration. Among cross-sectional studies, both light- and heavy-intensity hookworm infections were associated with lower Hb in school-aged children. School-aged children with heavy hookworm infection in settings of high malaria endemicity had lower mean Hb than those in settings of low malaria endemicity. In non-pregnant populations, deworming with albendazole was associated with an increase in Hb of 3.02 g/L (95% CI 0.1, 6.0 g/L). No additional benefit was seen with deworming using albendazole co-administered with praziquantel for schistosomiasis infection or iron supplementation for nutrition status. Our findings confirm the benefits of preventive chemotherapy as a public health intervention. © 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Aisling Byrne, Giselle Manalo, Naomi E Clarke, Susana Vaz Nery. Impact of hookworm infection and preventive chemotherapy on haemoglobin in non-pregnant populations. Tropical medicine & international health : TM & IH. 2021 Dec;26(12):1568-1592

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PMID: 34587315

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