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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


CHAGAS, Eda Cristina da Silva et al. Impact of malaria during pregnancy in the Amazon region. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.26, n.3, pp.203-208. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the impact of malaria on the course of pregnancy in women from the Amazon region and to investigate possible risk factors in this population. METHODS: This cross-sectional study is part of a larger project to study malaria and pregnancy in the Amazon region. Pregnant women with malaria receiving care at the Amazon Tropical Medicine Foundation (Fundação de Medicina Tropical do Amazonas) who answered a structured interview were included in the study. Socioeconomic, behavioral and clinical data were collected in the first consultation relating to each new malaria attack. All the women were followed-up throughout their pregnancy. The following risk factors for impact of malaria on the course of pregnancy were considered: being younger than 20 years of age, first pregnancy, first malaria infection, and type of infecting plasmodium species. RESULTS: Five hundred and thirty-five malaria episodes were evaluated in 417 pregnant women, with 20.56% being caused by P. falciparum, 78.69% by P. vivax and 0.75% by the association of both parasites. Changes in the course of pregnancy were very frequent (26.2%). Threat of abortion was observed in 49 cases (25.5%), abortion in two (1.0%), threat of premature birth in 74 (25.1%), and premature birth in three (1.0%). First pregnancy and age < 20 years were significantly associated with threat of premature birth and abortion. CONCLUSION: Changes in the course of pregnancy were very frequent during acute malaria attacks, despite the low frequency of abortion. The present results do not highlight specific risk factors, suggesting that any pregnant woman may be at risk for the threat of abortion or for abortion during acute malaria attacks.

Keywords : Malaria; pregnancy complications, parasitic; abortion; abortion, threatened; obstetric labor; premature; Plasmodium vivax; Plasmodium falciparum.

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