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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910

Abstract

DE QUEIROZ, Daiane et al. Vitamin A deficiency and associated factors in children in urban areas. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2013, vol.47, n.2, pp.248-256. ISSN 0034-8910.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-8910.2013047002906.

OBJECTIVE

To estimate the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency and its associated factors in children.

METHODS

A cross-sectional population-based study, involving 1,211 children of both sexes, aged between six and 59 months old, was carried out in the urban zone of 9 cities in the state of Paraiba, Northeastern Brazil. Vitamin A status was assessed by serum retinol levels (high performance liquid chromatography – HPLC) and subclinical infection was assessed by C-reactive protein concentrations. Socioeconomic, demographic and sanitation conditions, as well as vitamin A supplement intake, were also evaluated. Children with serum retinol concentrations

RESULTS

The prevalence of vitamin A deficiency was 21.8% (95%CI 19.6;24.2), showing an association with subclinical infection and lack of indoor plumbing. The prevalence of vitamin A deficiency was 21.8% (95%CI 19.6;24.2). After adjustment, vitamin A deficiency was found to be linked with subclinical infection and lack of indoor plumbing. Vitamin A deficiency was four times higher (CI95% 1.49;10.16) in children with subclinical infection whose homes were without indoor plumbing, compared to children who were not infected and with indoor plumbing in their homes.

CONCLUSIONS

Despite activities aimed at the prevention and control of vitamin A deficiency, hypovitaminosis A, remains a public health concern among children under five.

Keywords : Infant; Child, Preschool; Vitamin A Deficiency, epidemiology; Risk Factors; Socioeconomic Factors; Cross-Sectional Studies.

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