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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 25-28

Risk factors associated with head lice infestation in rural pediatric patients

1 Department of Dermatology, Base Hospital Delhi Cantt, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, ADH Jabalpur Cantt, Madhya Pradesh, India
3 Department of Pediatrics, Base Hospital Delhi Cantt, New Delhi, India
4 Department of Dermatology, MLN Medical College, Base Hospital Delhi Cantt, India

Correspondence Address:
Ajay Chopra
Department of Dermatology, Base Hospital, Delhi Cantt - 110 010
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/idoj.IDOJ_48_19

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Introduction: Head louse infestation is a common parasitic disease in pediatric age group. It is common in collective centers such as schools, garrisons, campuses and old age homes. It is worldwide in distribution with no strict limitation with respect to age, gender and race. Aims: Present study was conducted to investigate the socio-economic and lifestyle risk factors for head louse infestation in pediatric patients. Materials and Methods: An observational descriptive study at a tertiary care hospital in rural Uttar Pradesh over a period of 1 year wherein measurement of disease/risk factors associated with head louse infestation was performed. It was carried out in all children between 5 and 15 years of age using a pre-validated questionnaire. The method of convenience sampling was used and multiple logistic regression was run to account for potential confounding variables using SPSS software. Results: A total of 165 (71.1%) females and 67 (28.8%) males were infested. Most common age group affected was between 5 and 7 years where 97 (41.8%) children were infected. Ninety-five (40.9%) children were in fourth to seventh standards. Parents of 137 (59%) children were not formally educated. Eighty-one (34.9%) children had six members in the family while per capita income was between 5000 and 2500 in families of 139 (59.9%) children. Eighty-seven (37.5%) children had hair length up to shoulders. One twenty-eight (55.1%) children had no family member affected. Seventy-six (32.7%) children took bath twice a week only. Conclusion: Social and economic factors as well as lifestyle and education level of patients play a significant role in epidemiology of head lice.

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