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A Nationwide Survey of Prevalence of Pediculosis in Children and Adolescents in Iran

AUTHORS

MA Amirkhani 1 , SM Alavian 1 , H Maesoumi 2 , T Aminaie 1 , M Dashti 1 , G Ardalan 1 , H Ziaoddini 1 , P Mirmoghtadaee 3 , P Poursafa 1 , R Kelishadi 4 , *

AUTHORS INFORMATION

1 Direcor General, Family, Health, Population and School Health Bureau, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Center for Disease Control,Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran

4 Professor of Pediatrics, Pediatric Prevention Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Kelishadi@med.mui.ac.ir, Iran

ARTICLE INFORMATION

Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal: 13 (3); 167-170
Article Type: Research Article
Received: August 10, 2010
Accepted: October 18, 2010

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Abstract

Background: Since 2005, pediculosis is one of the obligatory reportable diseases from community to the Center of Disease Control. This study is the first nationwide survey on the prevalence of pediculosis and some associated risk factors in Iranian children and adolescents.

Methods: National data of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education were gathered in 2005 through school screening programs and obligatory reports from the country health centers.

Results: 12,359,448 Iranian children and adolescents were screened in 2005. Overall, 213,450 students, consisting of 198,947 girls and 14,320 boys were reported to have pediculosis. The prevalence of pediculosis was 581 per 100,000 population that varied from 1/100 000 to 8,303/100,000. In general, the highest prevalence of pediculosis was documented in south-eastern cities. The prevalence of pediculosis was significantly higher in girls than in boys (93% vs.7%, respectively, p<0.0001). In both genders, the highest prevalence of pediculosis was documented in the 6-10- year age group. Of those infected, 62% lived in rural areas, and 32% of those infected with pediculosis had a previous history of this infection. Most (99.37%) infected individuals had head lice, the rest had body and pubic pediculosis.

Conclusion: The prevalence of pediculosis is low in Iranian children and adolescents, but this infestation is still a health problem in some south-eastern cities with warm climate and low to middle socioeconomic status.

Keywords

Pediculosis Children Prevalence Iran

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