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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2005 Mar;72(3):236-42.

Risk factors for placental malaria and its effect on pregnancy outcome in Yaounde, Cameroon.

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Department of Biology, Georgetown University, Reiss Science Center, Washington, District of Columbia 20057, USA.


Between 1996 and 2001, the prevalence of placental malaria in pregnant women living in Yaounde, Cameroon and its effect on pregnancy outcome were evaluated with respect to gravidity and maternal age. Results showed that 19.9% of the women had placental malaria at delivery. After adjusting for relevant covariates, the major risk factor for placental malaria was an age < 25 years old. Placental malaria significantly increased the prevalence of anemia in women regardless of gravidity or age. In addition, the mean infant birth weight was lower and the percentage of pre-term deliveries (PTDs) and low birth weight (LBW) babies were higher in primigravidae and women < 20 years of age who had placental malaria. However, in a multivariate regression model taking relevant covariates into consideration, the major risk factor for PTDs was maternal anemia, and maternal anemia as well as first and second pregnancies were important risk factors for LBW babies.

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