Age and gender effects in self-reported urinary schistosomiasis in Tanzania

Archie C.A. Clements, Adrian G. Barnett, Ursuline Nyandindi, Nicholas J.S. Lwambo, Charles M. Kihamia, Lynsey Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To characterize age-gender prevalence profiles of urinary schistosomiasis according to the questionnaire responses, compare the profiles to field survey data from selected regions, and determine if the profiles varied spatially throughout Tanzania. 

Methods: In 2004, a national school-based questionnaire survey for self-reported schistosomiasis and blood in urine (BIU) was conducted in all regions of mainland Tanzania, to assist targeted mass distribution of praziquantel. Field survey data were collected in six north-western and five coastal regions using microscopic examination of urine samples for the presence of Schistosoma haematobium eggs and assessment of micro-haematuria with chemical reagent strips. Bayesian logistic regression models were created to calculate age-gender profiles adjusted for demographic and ecological covariates and spatial correlation in the questionnaire data. Separate odds ratios (OR) for age-gender effects were calculated in each administrative area. 

Results: Data were obtained from > 2.5 million schoolchildren. Boys had higher prevalence of self-reported schistosomiasis and BIU than girls. In boys, prevalence according to the questionnaire and field surveys followed similar age profiles. However, in girls, prevalence according to the field surveys increased in older age groups, but flattened out or decreased according to the questionnaire, indicating the latter underestimated prevalence in older girls. In the models, little spatial correlation was evident in the OR for the age-gender effects, suggesting that these did not vary spatially. 

Conclusion: Age-gender patterns of urinary schistosomiasis were consistent in different geographical areas of Tanzania. Because the questionnaire underestimated prevalence in older girls, we propose that upward calibration of observed prevalence is done for older females only.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-721
Number of pages9
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number5
Early online date16 Apr 2008
Publication statusPublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Age
  • Bayesian methods
  • Gender
  • Prevalence
  • Questionnaire
  • Schistosoma haematobium
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Spatial analysis
  • Tanzania

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Age and gender effects in self-reported urinary schistosomiasis in Tanzania'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this