How does the incidence of malaria vary between men and women?

Updated: Apr 26, 2019
  • Author: Thomas E Herchline, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Males and females are affected equally. However, malaria may be devastating during pregnancy to the mother and the fetus. P falciparum is the primary species responsible for increased morbidity and mortality in pregnancy. The prevalence of malaria is higher in primigravidas than in nonpregnant women or multigravidas.

Maternal complications are thought to be mediated by pregnancy associated decreases in immune function, as well as by placental sequestration of (P falciparum) parasites. Anemia from malaria can be more severe in pregnant women. Fetal complications include premature birth, anemia, low birth weight, and death. Malaria during the first trimester of pregnancy increases the risk for miscarriage. [2]


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