D1 | Abstract 03

Annual NUTRIM Symposium 18 November 2020


Anaemia in women in reproductive age: Does malaria determine its prevalence in low to moderate transmission settings?

Elmardi KA1, Adam I2, Malik EM3, Abdelrahim TA4, Elhag MS4, Ibrahim AA4, Babiker MA4, Elhassan AH5, Kafy HT6, Elshafie AT4, Nawai LM4, Abdin MS1 & Kremers S7.

1Health Information, M&E and Evidence Department, Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Sudan.
2Department of Obs. and Gyn., Unaizah College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia.
3Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Sudan.
4Communicable and NCDs Directorate, FMOH, Sudan.
5Directorate of Pharmacy, FMOH, Sudan.
6Directorate General of PHC, FMOH, Sudan.
7Department of Health Promotion, NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, The Netherlands
Anaemia in pregnant women (PW) is a global public health problem. It is associated with increased morbidity and mortality both for PW and their foetuses. Evidence has documented the association between anaemia and malaria however, most of the work is on PW and in high to moderate malaria transmission areas. This study aimed to assess the association between anaemia and malaria in women in reproductive age (WRA) in low to moderate transmission settings.

A cross-sectional stratified cluster-based household survey was conducted in Sudan in 2016. All WRA (15-49 years) in targeted households were enrolled. Personal and household related data was collected using a pre-designed close-ended questionnaire. Blood samples were taken for assessing the haemoglobin level and malaria infection. The WHO Hb cut-off level is used to define anaemia (non-pregnant women (NPW): <120 g/L, PW: <110 g/L). Logistic regression models were used to identify anaemia predictors in PW, NPW and WRA (stand-alone model for each).

Out of 4271 WRA participated in the study PW were 9.9%. Anaemia prevalence was 36.0, 35.6% and 35.5% in PW, NPW and WRA respectively with huge variation between states. Malaria infection was found as a predictor for anaemia in PW (aOR 4.100, 95%CI 1.523–11.039, p = 0.003), NPW (aOR 2.776, 95%CI 1.889–4.080, p < 0.001), and WRA (aOR 2.885, 95%CI 2.021–4.119, p < 0.001). However, level of malaria endemicity (living in low or in moderate malaria transmission settings) was not found to predict anaemia in the three models.

Being a resident in a low to moderate malaria transmission does not seems to expose WRA (including PW) to a higher risk of being anaemic, however, getting the malaria infection does. This is more relevant to the acute effect of malaria on WRA rather than the effect of repeated infection or the occurrence of chronic infection.

Findings of this abstract has recently been published in BMC Public Health:
Elmardi, K.A., Adam, I., Malik, E.M. et al. Prevalence and determinants of anaemia in women of reproductive age in Sudan: analysis of a cross-sectional household survey. BMC Public Health 20, 1125 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09252-w

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