Hookworm is highly endemic to Hainan Province, an island located in the South China Sea. To investigate the prevalence and intensity of infection in the area, the village of Xiulongkan was surveyed between April and July 1998. A cross-sectional study was conducted in which fecal samples of 80% of the village residents (631 individuals) were tested for the presence of helminth eggs. Hookworm was the predominant intestinal helminth in Xiulongkan, where it was determined that 60% of those tested were infected. Necator americanus was the predominant species of hookworm in this population. The prevalence of hookworm increased with age, and then leveled to a plateau for ages 41 yr and up. This observation was in contrast to infections with Ascaris lumbricoides, where the highest prevalences occurred among school-aged children. Women had a significantly higher prevalence of hookworm than men and this difference emerged in early adulthood. The intensity of hookworm infection also significantly increased with age, with the highest intensity infections occurring among middle-aged and elderly residents. Females were more likely to have moderate or heavy infections, whereas males were more likely to have light infections. The rates of hookworm transmission are particularly high among the middle-aged and elderly residents of Xiulongkan.

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