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RISK FACTORS FOR PLACENTAL MALARIA AND ITS EFFECT ON PREGNANCY OUTCOME IN YAOUNDE, CAMEROON

ERNEST A. TAKODepartment of Biology, Georgetown University, Reiss Science Center, Washington, District of Columbia; AZ DataClinic Inc., Rockville, Maryland; Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, The Biotechnology Center, University of Yaounde 1, Yaounde, Cameroon

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AINONG ZHOUDepartment of Biology, Georgetown University, Reiss Science Center, Washington, District of Columbia; AZ DataClinic Inc., Rockville, Maryland; Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, The Biotechnology Center, University of Yaounde 1, Yaounde, Cameroon

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JULIENNE LOHOUEDepartment of Biology, Georgetown University, Reiss Science Center, Washington, District of Columbia; AZ DataClinic Inc., Rockville, Maryland; Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, The Biotechnology Center, University of Yaounde 1, Yaounde, Cameroon

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ROBERT LEKEDepartment of Biology, Georgetown University, Reiss Science Center, Washington, District of Columbia; AZ DataClinic Inc., Rockville, Maryland; Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, The Biotechnology Center, University of Yaounde 1, Yaounde, Cameroon

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DIANE WALLACE TAYLORDepartment of Biology, Georgetown University, Reiss Science Center, Washington, District of Columbia; AZ DataClinic Inc., Rockville, Maryland; Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, The Biotechnology Center, University of Yaounde 1, Yaounde, Cameroon

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ROSE F. G. LEKEDepartment of Biology, Georgetown University, Reiss Science Center, Washington, District of Columbia; AZ DataClinic Inc., Rockville, Maryland; Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, The Biotechnology Center, University of Yaounde 1, Yaounde, Cameroon

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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.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Diane Wallace Taylor, Room 406, Reiss Science Center, Department of Biology, Georgetown University, 37th and O Streets, NW, Washington, DC 20057.
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