Influence of nutritional and haemoglobin status on malaria infection in children

Indian J Pediatr. 1995 May-Jun;62(3):321-6. doi: 10.1007/BF02753595.


Anaemia and malnutrition have been suggested to confer some degree of protection against malaria infection. Therefore, the influence of nutritional status as assessed anthropometrically and that of haemoglobin level on the incidence of malaria and the degree of parasitaemia was studied in 330 children in the age range of 1-9 years in Bisra block near Rourkela in Orissa state. Moderate to severe malnutrition as assessed from percentage of ideal weight was found in 48.8% (161/330) of children but only 8.8% (29/330) of children had some degree of malnutrition when assessed as weight for height indicating presence of chronic malnutrition. Similarly, 197 children (59.7%) had various grades of anaemia as estimated by haemoglobin level prevalence of malaria on initial examination was 27.6% (91/330), while incidence of clinical malaria in children during the year of study was 250/1000. There was no statistical difference in the Prevalence/incidence of malaria or severity of P. falciparum parasitaemia at different haemoglobin or nutritional levels (p > 0.05). No child died or developed severe complications requiring hospitalization. Therefore, anaemia or malnutrition do not appear to provide any protection against malaria or degree of parasitaemia in the children around Rourkela.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Malaria / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Nutrition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Hemoglobins