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Considerable prevalence of both malaria, STIs exist among pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa
Date:5/15/2012

A review of studies reporting estimates of the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections/reproductive tract infections (STIs/RTIs) and malaria over the past 20 years suggests that a considerable burden of malaria and STIs/RTIs exists among pregnant women attending antenatal (before birth) facilities in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a review and meta-analysis of previous studies published in the May 16 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on Global Health.

"There are 880,000 stillbirths and 1.2 million neonatal deaths each year in sub-Saharan Africa. Low birth weight (< 2.5 kg [5.5 lbs.]), attributable to intrauterine growth retardation, preterm delivery, or both, is the leading risk factor for neonatal mortality. Intrauterine infection is implicated in stillbirth and is associated with 25 percent to 40 percent of preterm births. Sexually transmitted infections and reproductive tract infections and malaria are associated with adverse birth outcomes, but both may be mitigated with preventive or presumptive treatment or by repeated screening and treatment throughout the antenatal period. The extent to which either approach may be beneficial depends on the underlying prevalence of STIs/RTIs and malaria in pregnancy," according to background information in the article.

R. Matthew Chico, M.P.H., of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to provide estimates for the dual prevalence of STIs/RTIs and malaria in pregnancy among women in sub-Saharan Africa. The researchers conducted a search for studies reporting malaria, syphilis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, Trichomonas vaginalis, or bacterial vaginosis among pregnant women attending antenatal care facilities in sub-Saharan Africa. A total of 171 studies, which were conducted from 1990-2011, were identified that met inclusion criteria.

The studies included 340,904 women. The researchers
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Contact: Katie Steels
katie.steels@lshtm.ac.uk
JAMA and Archives Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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