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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


WERNECK, Guilherme Loureiro; HASSELMANN, Maria Helena  and  GOUVEA, Thaise Gasser. An overview of studies on nutrition and neglected diseases in Brazil. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.1, pp.39-62. ISSN 1678-4561.

The objective of this paper is to review the literature on the relationship between nutrition and neglected infectious disease in Brazilian populations, in particular Chagas' Disease, malaria, schistosomiasis and visceral leishmaniasis. The literature review was performed in January 2010 by searching the databases SciELO, LILACS and Medline. Two-hundred and ninety-three abstracts were retrieved, 66 of them were selected for full-text analysis and 43 were included in the review. This review reinforces the relevance of nutritional studies in public health for better understanding the aspects involved in the risk and prognosis of malaria, schistosomiasis, visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas' Disease. It was possible to detect an unbalance in the literature about the theme, with much more experimental studies than population-based studies. Although the first are essential for helping to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the association between nutritional deficits and those diseases, well designed population-based studies are fundamental for the translation of scientific research into effective actions for controlling neglected diseases.

Keywords : Nutrition; Malaria; Visceral leishmaniasis; Chagas' Disease; Schistosomiasis; Malnutrition.

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