Study shows malaria decline in malaria deaths

A study performed by U.S. researchers shows that global malaria deaths have been decreasing for the last several years.

The study, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, reported that the number of deaths caused by malaria reached a peak of 1.82 million in 2004 and then fell steadily to 1.24 million in 2010, according to UPI.

The initial increase in deaths reported from 1980, the beginning of the study period, until 2004 has been attributed to the growth of populations living in high-risk areas. The decline in deaths since 2004, according to the study, has been a result of the massive malaria control program undertaken in Africa.

Christopher Murray, a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle and a coauthor of the study, said that the renewed global efforts against malaria have contributed to ambitious goals and tangible results.

"We systematically collected all available data for malaria mortality for the period 1980 to 2010, correcting for misclassification bias," Murray said, UPI reports. "We developed a range of predictive models, including ensemble models, to estimate malaria mortality with uncertainty by age, sex, country, and year.

"We used key predictors of malaria mortality such as parasite prevalence, first-line anti-malarial drug resistance, and vector control."