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Malaria infection linked to increased risk of heart failure: Study

ANI | Updated: Sep 02, 2019 14:52 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Sept 2 (ANI): Malaria infection is associated with a 30 per cent higher risk of heart failure, revealed a recent study.
The study was presented today at 'ESC Congress 2019.'
"We have seen an increase in the incidence of malaria cases and what is intriguing is we have seen the same increase in cardiovascular disease in the same regions," said first author Dr Philip Brainin, a postdoctoral research fellow at Herlev-Gentofte University Hospital, Denmark.
"Even though we have taken preventive measures to decrease the malaria numbers it remains a major burden," said Dr Brainin.
The researchers used Danish nationwide registries to identify patients with a history of malaria infection between January 1994 and January 2017. The mean age of patients in the study was 34 years old and 58 per cent were male.
A total of 3,989 malaria cases were identified, with 40 per cent having plasmodium falciparum, a parasite transmitted through mosquito bites that is responsible for the majority of severe malaria cases in humans.
The 11-year follow-up of patients revealed 69 cases of heart failure, which was very high as compared to the general population, and 68 cases of cardiovascular death, which was considered within a normal range.
"These patients had a 30 per cent increased likelihood of developing heart failure over the follow-up time," Dr Brainin said. "Thirty percent is a high number, but you also have to understand that it is a relatively small study, which is a limitation. As of right now the results of this study are more hypothesis-generating for future studies."
Dr Brainin noted that, while heart failure risk was increased for patients in the study, there was not a link to heart attack or cardiovascular death.
Because it is too early to convert the results into clinical practice, Dr Brainin advised that physicians should continue to focus on traditional and validated risk factors that may lead to heart failure. (ANI)