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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-26

Risk factors for persistent diarrhea

Consultant Professor of Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Pediatric Hospital “Juan Manuel Marquez”, Havana, Cuba

Correspondence Address:
Eduardo Sagaro
Consultant Professor of Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Pediatric Hospital “Juan Manuel Marquez”, Havana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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In the last years the literature related to persistent diarrhea (PD) has decreased in a very alarming way. The WHO has called attention to the lack of information on the protracted episodes of diarrhea, and has invited all researchers to obtain and provide information on this problem. PD is one of the diseases that frequently affects morbidity and mortality of children in the world. There are approximately 3 million diarrhea related deaths per year of children less than 5 years old. Forty five percent of these deaths are due to episodes that last more than 14 days. PD represents an important health problem because its magnitude, significance and long duration. A review of the main risk factors for PD is reviewed in this article. Research to identify risk factors for PD is a priority. The identification of such risk factors is basic for the understanding of the pathogenesis and epidemiology of PD. Knowledge of these risk factors in any country is of vital importance for the strategy to prevent and control PD. This strategy must be comprehensive and effective to reduce the rate of mortality related to diarrheal diseases in general and infant mortality in particular. Risk factors for PD are of two kinds: a) Environmental social and b) Host. The most important host related risk factors for PD are: i. age, ii. previous episodes of acute and PD, iii. malnutrition, iv. early introduction of animal milk, v. the use of metronidazol and antibiotics during the acute phase of the disease, and vi. the identification of enteric pathogens.

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