Subclinical vitamin a deficiency in pre-school children living in urban slums of Dhaka City
Objective: Assess the biochemical evidence of vitamin A deficiency in pre-school children living in the urban slums of Dhaka Methodology: To examine the separate and combined effects of low-dose 6-carotene supplementation and anti-helminthic therapy, 226 children aged 2-5 years from different slums in Mirpur thana were recruited for this study. All children were free from apparent illness, frank malnutrition, and sign of clinically evident vitamin A deficiency. Their serum B-carotene and retinol levels were measured using high pressure liquid chro-matography. Results: The mean (range) serum B-carotene and retinol levels were 5.67 (2.6-21.7) and 18.9 (5.6-37.3) mg/ dl respectively. Fifty-seven percent of the children were vitamin A-deficient based on the serum retinol level (<20 mg/dl). About 20% of the children had no measurable 8-carotede in their serum. Neither serum retinol nor 6-carotene showed any relationship with age or nutritional status. Conclusion: The results of the study indicate a high prevalence of vitamin A deficiency among the pre-school children in urban slums.
J Diarrhoeal Dis Res 1998 Mar;16(1):31-2