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Revista Medica Herediana

Print version ISSN 1018-130XOn-line version ISSN 1729-214X


HENRIQUEZ CAMACHO, César et al. Incidencia y factores de riesgo para adquirir diarrea aguda en una comunidad rural de la selva peruana. Rev Med Hered [online]. 2002, vol.13, n.2, pp.44-48. ISSN 1018-130X.

Objectives: Few data are available on the relevance of acute diarrhea as a health problem in rural peruvian communities. The objectives of the study were to determine the incidence and risk factors to acquire acute diarrhea in a rural community, Pamashto, located in the rain forest of the department of San Martin, Peru. Material and Methods: A cohort of 119 people was selected randomly among the population of 446 habitants, and followed daily for one month between january and february 1999, searching for the presence of acute diarrhea; defined as 3 or more loose stools per day for no more than 3 days. A matched case-control study was performed to determine the risk factors to acquire diarrhea. Results: Eighteen cases of acute diarrhea were observed; the incidence rate was 15.1 cases per 100 person-month (95% CI: 9.45-23.12). Median age of cases was 10.7 years (range: 1-34 years), 66% of cases were seen among people less than 10 years of age. Risk factors to acquire diarrhea were: eating raw food, RR: 2.2 (95% CI: 1.12-4.33), eating unwashed food, RR: 4.47 (95% CI: 1.56-12.82), lack of washing hands before eating, RR: 9.61 (95% CI: 1.44-64.16), drinking unboiled water, RR: 4.52 (95% CI: 1.23-16.65) and eating outside home, RR: 2.2 (95% CI: 1.51-3.20). Mean number (SD) of people living at home differed between cases and controls; 4.38 (1.03) vs. 3.22 (0.54), p=0.0003, respectively. No difference was observed in the length of staying in the community between cases and controls, mean of 5.61 (5.04) years vs. 8.83 (9.79), p=0.5747. Conclusions: Acute diarrhea is a public health problem in the rain forest of San Martin. Crowding, improper sanitation, and poor hygienic practices are responsible for acquiring acute diarrhea in this low socioeconomic community. Educational campaigns and good sanitation facilities are clearly necessary to overcome this problem.

Keywords : Incidence; risk factors; acute diarrhea; San Martin; rain forest; case-control study.

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