• Open Access

Malaria in pregnancy: the difficulties in measuring birthweight

Authors

  • MJ Rijken,

    1. Shoklo Malaria Research Unit, Mae Sot, Tak, Thailand
    2. Department of Obstetrics, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
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  • JA Rijken,

    1. Shoklo Malaria Research Unit, Mae Sot, Tak, Thailand
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  • AT Papageorghiou,

    1. Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK
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  • SH Kennedy,

    1. Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK
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  • GHA Visser,

    1. Department of Obstetrics, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
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  • F Nosten,

    1. Shoklo Malaria Research Unit, Mae Sot, Tak, Thailand
    2. Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
    3. Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
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  • R McGready

    1. Shoklo Malaria Research Unit, Mae Sot, Tak, Thailand
    2. Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
    3. Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
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Dr MJ Rijken, Shoklo Malaria Research Unit, PO Box 46, Mae Sot, Tak 63110, Thailand. Email marcus@shoklo-unit.com

Abstract

Please cite this paper as: Rijken M, Rijken J, Papageorghiou A, Kennedy S, Visser G, Nosten F, McGready R. Malaria in pregnancy: the difficulties in measuring birthweight. BJOG 2011;118:671–678.

Recommendations for interventions to control malaria in pregnancy are often based on studies using birthweight as the primary endpoint. Differences in birthweight may be attributable partly to methodological difficulties. We performed a structured search of the literature using ‘malaria’, ‘pregnancy’ and ‘birth weight’ as search terms. Of the clinical trials reporting birthweight, only 33% (14/43) gave information about the timing of the measurement and details on the scales used. Seventy seven per cent explained how gestational age was estimated. We propose a standardised method for the measurement and reporting of birthweight in future studies.

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