National and Provincial Prevalence of Pediculus humanus capitis among Urban Students in Iran from 2014 to 2018

Ahmad Ziaoddini, Roya Riahi, Motahar Heidari-Beni, Hasan Ziaoddini, Sara Zamani


Background: Pediculosis capitis is one of the most common contagious diseases in overcrowded places, especially in schools. We aimed to determine the overall and seasonal prevalence of Pediculosis capitis (head lice infestation) among Iranian students.

Study design: A repeated cross-sectional study.

Methods: The present study was conducted among all students, aged 6-18 yr, from urban areas of 31 provinces of Iran from 2014 to 2018. The student’s hair and scalp were examined by trained school health instructor. The prevalence (95% Confidence Interval) of pediculosis were estimated overall and stratified by gender. Linear and Poisson regression models were used for data analysis.

Results: Results showed an upward trend of pediculosis from 1.7% to 3.42% during four years of study (P for trend=0.006). Overall, the prevalence of this infestation was significantly higher in girls than boys (P-value<0.05). The relative risk of head lice infestation in autumn was 2.42 times higher than spring (RR: 2.42, 95%CI: 1.35 to 4.32).

Conclusion: Pediculosis is still a health issue among Iranian students, especially in girls. This infestation had upward trend in recent years and was more common in southern Iran. Increasing the awareness of students regarding symptoms and complications of pediculosis and using accurate diagnosis methods can be effective in reducing the prevalence of pediculosis and its consequences.



Pediculosis; Prevalence; Students; Iran; Urban

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