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Vitamin A deficiency in institutionalized children in the capital of the State of S. Paulo, Brazil

Children from 2 to 6 years of age from an agency for the welfare of minors were studied clinically and biochemically for vitamin A deficiency. Clinical examinations showed a very high prevalence of cutaneous xerosis (75.8%) and not so high of follicular keratosis (18.3%). Unaided eye examinations showed a xerosis conjunctivae prevalence of 20.7% whereas with the aid of 1% Rose Bengal staining prevalence rose to 31.7%. Biochemical examinations showed that 39.4% of subjects presented vitamin A plasma levels of 10mug/100ml or less, and 73.9% 20mug/100ml or less.

Vitamin A; Child, preschool

Faculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo Avenida Dr. Arnaldo, 715, 01246-904 São Paulo SP Brazil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7985 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil