Folate Deficiency to Protect against Malaria

Victor Herbert, Terrie E. Taylor, Malcolm E. Molyneux, Philip E. Thuma, Victor Gordeuk, Gary Brittenham

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


To the Editor: Gordeuk et al. (Nov. 19 issue)1 suggest that iron deficiency may protect against malaria. It does not. Of 101 children with malaria and anemia studied in Kenya, 15 had iron deficiency2. The development of malaria was not impaired because plasmodia obtain their iron from hemoglobin in iron-deficient red cells3. Ten of the children in Kenya had sickle cell disease,2 which, like thalassemia, is usually protective against malaria3. They had been taking folate supplements because of the increased need for folate in chronic hemolytic anemias and thus did not have the folate deficiency otherwise common…

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1127-1128
Number of pages2
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 15 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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