Volume 97, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Studies are available that assess the risk of malaria in accordance to the body’s iron store and the systematic iron supplementation of preschool children. However, only a few studies evaluated the temporal association between hemoglobin and malaria and their results are opposing. A total of 1,650 3-month-old Papua New Guinean infants were enrolled in this study and followed-up for 12 months. The risk of malaria was assessed in all children every 3 months and with each episode of fever. The incidence of clinical malaria between 3 and 15 months of age was 249 cases per 1,000 infants per year. After adjustment for potential confounding factors, a decrease of 1 g/dL of hemoglobin was associated with a nonsignificant increase of 11% for risk of malaria infection (hazard ratio, 1.11, 95% confidence interval; CI, 0.99–1.25, = 0.076). Only children with severe anemia (hemoglobin < 8.0 g/dL) at baseline were at higher risk of malaria infection (hazard ratio, 1.72, 95% CI, 1.08–2.76, = 0.023) during the follow-up year compared with the control group (Hemoglobin > 10.0 g/dL). This association was not statistically significant if only clinical malaria episodes were taken into account (hazard ratio, 1.42, 95% CI, 0.77–2.61, = 0.26). Our study suggests that infants with lower hemoglobin levels are not protected against malaria infection. Further research that examines the risk of malaria in relation to both hemoglobin and iron store levels would be important to better understand this complex interaction.


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  • Received : 08 Feb 2017
  • Accepted : 17 Jul 2017
  • Published online : 25 Sep 2017

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