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Effect on weight gain of routinely giving albendazole to preschool children during child health days in Uganda: cluster randomised controlled trial

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.38877.393530.7C (Published 13 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:122

No significant difference in weight gain after correction for cluster design

To the editor

In a trial featured on the cover of the BMJ Alderman et al report on
weight
gain in 27,995 children who were cluster randomized in 48 parishes to
either
albendazole for treatment of soil-transmitted helminths or nothing (1).

We have recently published a Cochrane review of the effects on growth
and
school performance of deworming for soil-transmitted helminths in children

and included this study (2). The paper reported a weight gain of 2.413 kg
in
the 25 treatment parishes and 2.259 kg in the control parishes at an
unspecified follow-up point. The 154 g difference was reported as
statistically significant in the paper. We contacted the authors as the
paper
did not make it clear if the design effects had been taken into account in
this
result. The authors wrote that the result was unadjusted, and kindly
provided
us with adjusted data: these results showed no significant difference
detected
for the primary outcome of weight gain between intervention and control
groups (difference 154 g; 95% CI -19.7 to 330 g).

We think it is important that the correction outlined above - which
is now
published (2) - is linked to the published version of this trial.

1. Alderman H, Konde-Lule J, Sebuliba I, Bundy D, Hall A. Effect on
weight
gain of routinely giving albendazole to preschool children during child
health
days in Uganda: cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ
2006;333(7559):122.

2. Taylor-Robinson DC, Jones AP, Garner P. Deworming drugs for
treating
soil-transmitted intestinal worms in children: effects on growth and
school
performance. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 4. Art.
No.: CD000371. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000371.pub3.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

16 July 2008
David C Taylor-Robinson
Clinical Lecturer in Public Health
Paul Garner, LSTM
Division of Public Health, University of Liverpool, L69 3GB