Background Malaria is a major health problem in Indonesia. The District of Bangka is one of 338 malaria endemic areas with a clinical malaria rate of 51.87% and positive malaria rate of 9.46% in 2008. In malaria endemic areas pregnant mothers are the major group at risk for malaria infection. Malaria infection during pregnancy contributes to maternal morbidity and low birth weight (LBW) infants (<2500 g) caused either by preterm birth or intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), factors that become the greatest risk factors for infant morbidity and mortality.
Methods This was a case-control study where the population are infants, namely LBW infants (<2500 g) as a case and normal birth weight infants (2500–4000 g) as a control within the period of 2008–2009. There were 174 subjects in total, comprising 58 cases and 116 controls. Data analysis used univariable, bivariable (χ2) and multivariable (logistic regression) techniques.
Results There was a significant association between malaria infection in pregnant mothers and the incidence of LBW infants (crude OR =2.90; 95% CI 1.38 to 6.10), and after adjustment or controlled simultaneously for external variables, the influence of malaria infection remained (adjusted OR =2.97; 95% CI 1.37 to 6.39). Pregnant mothers with malaria infection had a risk 2.9 times greater for delivering LBW infants than normal birth weight infants. All external variables had no influence on malaria infection in pregnant mothers and the incidence of LBW infants.
Conclusion Pregnant mothers who delivered infants with LBW were more likely to be infected with malaria than pregnant mothers who delivered infants with normal birth weight.
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