Which patient groups have the highest incidence of giardiasis?

Updated: Oct 01, 2018
  • Author: Hisham Nazer, MBBCh, FRCP, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Burt Cagir, MD, FACS  more...
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Giardiasis does not have any race predilection. Native American populations residing on reservations can have high carrier rates.

Giardiasis is slightly more common in males than in females. [42] A Canadian population study demonstrated infection rates of 21.2 per 100,000 per year versus 17.9 per 100,000 per year for males and females, respectively, resulting in a relative risk of 1.19. [42]

Giardiasis affects people of all ages. Infection is rare during the first 6 months of life in breastfed infants, but infants and young children have an increased susceptibility to giardiasis. Age-specific prevalence of giardiasis continues to rise through infancy and childhood and begins to decline only in adolescence. [18, 47]

Children are particularly at risk for infection through exposure at day-care centers. Many of the epidemics documented over the last 2 decades have originated in day-care centers. Estimates of the prevalence of infection, defined by the presence of cyst passage, have been as high as 20-25% in children younger than 3 years. [48, 49]

According to 2003–2005 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the greatest number of reported cases occurred among children aged 1-4 and 5-9 years and adults aged 35-44 years. [38]

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