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Could Plasmodium vivax malaria trigger malnutrition? Revisiting the Bradford Hill criteria to assess a causal relationship between two neglected problems

Overview of attention for article published in Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical, June 2016
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Title
Could Plasmodium vivax malaria trigger malnutrition? Revisiting the Bradford Hill criteria to assess a causal relationship between two neglected problems
Published in
Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical, June 2016
DOI 10.1590/0037-8682-0397-2015
Pubmed ID
Authors

Wuelton Marcelo Monteiro, Márcia Araújo Alexandre, André Siqueira, Gisely Melo, Gustavo Adolfo Sierra Romero, Efrem d'Ávila, Silvana Gomes Benzecry, Heitor Pons Leite, Marcus Vinícius Guimarães Lacerda

Abstract

The benign characteristics formerly attributed to Plasmodium vivax infections have recently changed owing to the increasing number of reports of severe vivax malaria resulting in a broad spectrum of clinical complications, probably including undernutrition. Causal inference is a complex process, and arriving at a tentative inference of the causal or non-causal nature of an association is a subjective process limited by the existing evidence. Applying classical epidemiology principles, such as the Bradford Hill criteria, may help foster an understanding of causality and lead to appropriate interventions being proposed that may improve quality of life and decrease morbidity in neglected populations. Here, we examined these criteria in the context of the available data suggesting that vivax malaria may substantially contribute to childhood malnutrition. We found the data supported a role for P. vivax in the etiology of undernutrition in endemic areas. Thus, the application of modern causal inference tools, in future studies, may be useful in determining causation.

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 26 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Brazil 1 4%
Unknown 25 96%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 5 19%
Researcher 5 19%
Student > Master 4 15%
Student > Doctoral Student 3 12%
Student > Ph. D. Student 2 8%
Other 4 15%
Unknown 3 12%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 12 46%
Nursing and Health Professions 3 12%
Social Sciences 3 12%
Economics, Econometrics and Finance 1 4%
Computer Science 1 4%
Other 1 4%
Unknown 5 19%