TitleVitamin A Deficiency in Children with Acute Diarrhoea
AuthorsMehra S., Aneja S., Choudhury M., Patwari A. K.
PublicationJ Diarrhoeal Dis Res. 1994 Jun; 12(2):125-8.
AbstractNinety-five children between 9 months and 3 years (mean age 14.4 months) with acute diarrhoea were enrolled by simple random sampling and studied for the presence of xerophthalmia and subclinical vitamin-A deficiency (detected by ocular impression cytology). The objective of the study was to estimate the prevalence of vitamin-A deficiency in these children and to evaluate its role as a risk factor for acute diarrhoea. The results were compared with 96 sex-and age-matched (mean age 15.79 months) controls belonging to similar nutritional grades and socioeconomic status who did not have diarrhoea and attended the hospital for treatment of minor ailments or for immunizations. Clinically evident xerophthalmia was observed in 12.6% of cases with acute diarrhoea and in 10.4% of controls. Ocular impression cytology suggested vitamin-A deficiency in 48.4% of cases and 40.6% of controls. However, on comparing the study group with the controls, there was no significant difference in vitamin-A deficiency in the 2 groups on clinical examination (p > 0.05) or by ocular impression cytology (p > 0.05). The prevalence rate of vitamin-A deficiency increased with the severity of malnutrition in cases (p < 0.05) as well as in controls (p < 0.05), but subclinical vitamin-A deficiency was detected even in well-nourished cases (35%) and controls (22.7%). Our results suggest a high prevalence of vitamin-A deficiency in young children from our study population with or without diarrhoea and even in well-nourished children. The association of vitamin-A deficiency was not significantly different in cases of acute diarrhoea than in the controls.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)