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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1999 Jul;93(5):457-65.

Anaemia in pregnancy: Plasmodium falciparum infection is an important cause in primigravidae in Hoima district, western Uganda.

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  • 1Vector Control Division, Kampala, Uganda.


Infection with Plasmodium falciparum is a major cause of anaemia in pregnancy, especially in primigravidae. Of 853 primigravidae visiting an antenatal clinic in Hoima district, western Uganda, for the first time, 530 (62.1%) were found to have P. falciparum parasitaemias and 305 (57.5%) of these had at least 1000 parasites/microliter blood. Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia was significantly associated with anaemia (relative risk = 0.84, with 95% confidence limits = 0.74-0.96; P = 0.01). Malarial parasites were detected in > 80% of the women who had severe anaemia (P = 0.0008) and haemoglobin concentrations decreased with increasing intensity of infection (P = 0.03). Malarial hyper-reactive splenomegaly was associated with high parasite density (P = 0.01) and low haemoglobin level (P < 0.0001). Effective measures aimed at prevention of malaria and anaemia in pregnancy, especially in primigravidae, would significantly reduce anaemia and its deleterious effects on both the mother and the baby.

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