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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 350763, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/350763
Research Article

Malaria, Intestinal Helminths and Other Risk Factors for Stillbirth in Ghana

1Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Birmingham, AL 35294-0022, USA
2Division of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Birmingham, AL 35294-0022, USA
3Mel and Enid Zuckerman Collage of Public Health University of Arizona 1295 N. Martin Avenue A256, Tucson, AZ, USA
4School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
5Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry & Immunology, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30310, USA
6Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Birmingham, AL 35294-0022, USA
7Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana
8Department of Biochemistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
9College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia, Griffin, GA 30602, USA
10Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA

Received 22 September 2009; Accepted 10 March 2010

Academic Editor: Bryan Larsen

Copyright © 2010 Nelly J. Yatich et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objective. The objective of the study was to assess Plasmodium/intestinal helminth infection in pregnancy and other risk factors for stillbirth in Ghana. Methods. A cross-sectional study of women presenting for delivery in two hospitals was conducted during November-December 2006. Data collected included sociodemographic information, medical and obstetric histories, and anthropometric measures. Laboratory investigations for the presence of Plasmodium falciparum and intestinal helminths, and tests for hemoglobin levels were also performed. Results. The stillbirth rate was relatively high in this population (5%). Most of the stillbirths were fresh and 24% were macerated. When compared to women with no malaria, women with malaria had increased risk of stillbirth ( , 95%  –9.3). Other factors associated with stillbirth were severe anemia, low serum folate concentration, past induced abortion, and history of stillbirth. Conclusion. The fact that most of the stillbirths were fresh suggests that higher quality intrapartum care could reduce stillbirth rates.