1921
Volume 103, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645
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Abstract

Abstract.

Modern clinical trials have suggested that anemia protects against malaria mortality. Military records of the Second World War in Asia were examined to see if there was support for this hypothesis. When relatively well-nourished Imperial Japanese Navy sailors captured on Nauru ( = 799) were imprisoned on the Fauro Islands, 26% died from malaria. Similarly treated but very malnourished colocated Imperial Army soldiers experienced low stable malaria mortality. One-fifth of previously healthy Australian Army soldiers ( = 252) retreating from New Britain died largely because of malaria in April 1942. Malnourished prisoners of war, who were as a group very anemic, both Australian Army soldiers in Thailand and Japanese Army soldiers in Papua New Guinea, had high malaria rates but very low (< 3%) mortality rates. Malaria immunity does not adequately explain this dichotomy, suggesting that severe nutritional deprivation may be protective against malaria mortality possibly because of iron-deficiency anemia.

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Supplemental figure

  • Received : 02 Jul 2020
  • Accepted : 27 Jul 2020
  • Published online : 08 Sep 2020
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