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The problem of malaria in adolescence has largely been overshadowed by the huge burden of disease in young children. A substantial number of adolescents are at risk from malaria infection, but the burden of disease and consequences of infection in this age-group have rarely been studied. Our understanding of specific risk factors and beneficial interventions for adolescents is also limited. Data show that, from an adolescent viewpoint, malaria is a common cause of clinical illness and a preventable cause of death, even in areas of stable malaria transmission. Younger adolescents might be at a higher risk than older adolescents, because of immunological and hormonal factors. There are limited data about the adverse consequences of malaria in non-pregnant adolescents. However, in pregnant adolescents, the consequences of malaria are of great concern and simple interventions might lead to a substantial benefit. Malaria infection in adolescents is an under-recognised problem, and the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of malaria should have a high priority within adolescent health programmes.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/s1473-3099(06)70655-7

Type

Journal

The Lancet. Infectious diseases

Publication Date

12/2006

Volume

6

Pages

780 - 793

Addresses

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK. dlalloo@liv.ac.uk

Keywords

Animals, Humans, Malaria, Risk Factors, Age Factors, Health Education, Pregnancy, Socioeconomic Factors, Adolescent, Female, Male