Serum retinol levels in school children, 7 to 17 years old in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

OBJECTIVE: The vitamin A nutritional status assesment in scholars whose age is from 7 to 17 years old is the aim of this study. Data from 574 scholars have been analyzed, they were from 7 to 17 years old, and matriculated in the public educational system of Rio de Janeiro. METHODS: The serum retinol levels were assessed by the modified Bessey-Lowry method and the reference point to qualify the inadequate serum retinol level was <1,05µmol/L. RESULTS: The current study has identified that 10.30% of the scholars have presented low serum retinol levels. Considering the age group, the study shows that the younger scholars can present highier percentages of inadequate serul retinol levels (11.98% for those who is 7 to 10 years old, and 7.92% for those who is from 10 to 17 years old). CONCLUSIONS: Although the serum retinol levels tends to raise according to the age, they are still low and its frequency is relevant to focus the atention to the youngest scholars, including them in micronutrients deficiency combat programs.

vitamin A deficiency; school children; serum retinol levels; retinol

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