Journal Article

Age as a Risk Factor for Severe Manifestations and Fatal Outcome of Falciparum Malaria in European Patients: Observations from TropNetEurop and SIMPID Surveillance Data

N. Mühlberger, T. Jelinek, R. H. Behrens, I. Gjørup, J. P. Coulaud, J. Clerinx, S. Puente, G. Burchard, J. Gascon, M. P. Grobusch, T. Weitzel, T. Zoller, H. Kollaritsch, J. Beran, J. Iversen, C. Hatz, M. L. Schmid, A. Björkman, K. Fleischer, Z. Bisoffi, W. Guggemos, J. Knobloch, A. Matteelli, M. H. Schulze, H. Laferl, A. Kapaun, P. McWhinney, R. Lopez-Velez, G. Fôtkenheuer, P. Kern, B. W. Zieger, A. Kotlowski, G. Fry, J. Cuadros and B. Myrvang

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 36, issue 8, pages 990-995
Published in print April 2003 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online April 2003 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/374224
Age as a Risk Factor for Severe Manifestations and Fatal Outcome of Falciparum Malaria in European Patients: Observations from TropNetEurop and SIMPID Surveillance Data

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Previous studies have indicated that age is a risk factor for severe falciparum malaria in nonimmune patients. The objectives of this study were to reevaluate previous findings with a larger sample and to find out how strongly clinical outcomes for elderly patients differ from those for younger patients. Results of adjusted analyses indicated that the risks of death due to falciparum malaria, of experiencing cerebral or severe disease in general, and of hospitalization increased significantly with each decade of life. The case-fatality rate was almost 6 times greater among elderly patients than among younger patients, and cerebral complications occurred 3 times more often among elderly patients. Antimalarial chemoprophylaxis was significantly associated with a lower case-fatality rate and a lower frequency of cerebral complications. Women were more susceptible to cerebral complications than were men. Our study provides evidence that falciparum malaria is more serious in older patients and demonstrates that clinical surveillance networks are capable of providing quality data for investigation of rare events or diseases.

Journal Article.  2892 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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