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Influence of Hemoglobin E Trait on the Severity of Falciparum Malaria

Robert Hutagalung, Polrat Wilairatana, Sornchai Looareesuwan, Gary M. Brittenham, Masamichi Aikawa and Victor R. Gordeuk
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 179, No. 1 (Jan., 1999), pp. 283-286
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30117260
Page Count: 4
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Influence of Hemoglobin E Trait on the Severity of Falciparum Malaria
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Abstract

To determine if hemoglobin E trait influences the course of acute malaria, adults hospitalized for the treatment of symptomatic infection with Plasmodium falciparum were studied retrospectively. Forty-two patients with hemoglobin E trait were compared with 175 reference subjects who did not have hemoglobin E, β-thalassemia, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, or α-thalassemia. One patient (2.4%) with hemoglobin E trait had a severe complication of malaria by World Health Organization criteria (cerebral malaria), while 32 subjects in the reference group (18.3%) had one or more severe complications: cerebral malaria (n = 18), hyperparasitemia (n = 16), renal failure (n = 10), and severe anemia (n = 1) (P = .044 after adjustment for ethnic categories). The estimated odds of severe complications in the reference subjects were 6.9 times the odds in patients with hemoglobin E trait (95% confidence interval, 1.2-146.4). These results suggest that hemoglobin E trait may ameliorate the course of acute falciparum malaria.

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