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Millions of women at risk of malaria during pregnancy

Potential problems include undetected illness and anemia in mothers, stillbirth and low birth weight in newborns

Roughly 125 million women worldwide get pregnant in malarial regions each year, exposing them to a wide range of complications, researchers report online January 26 in PLoS Medicine.

The new study is the first to put a solid number on this high-risk population, says coauthor Feiko ter Kuile, a physician and medical epidemiologist at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in England. The 125 million pregnancies were tallied in malarial zones in 2007 and constituted roughly 60 percent of all pregnancies worldwide that year.

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