Vitamin A Status and Persistent Diarrhea in Children under Five

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Nadeem Khawar
Muhammad Younas


Persistent diarrhea is a signififcant health problem in children under five and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Based on current knowledge of subnormal vitamin A assocaition with persistent diarrhea we have attempted to assess vitamin A status of children under five. 50 consecutive hspitalsed children under five with persistent diarrhea, along with 50 control children without diarrhea were studied for serum vitamin A lievel, clinical nutritional status and eye sings. Serum Vitamin A level was interpreted as subnoraml <20meg/dl, low 10 - 20 meg/dl and deficient < 10meg/dl. 72% (36/50|) of children with persistent diarrhea and 34% (17/50) of control group had subnormal vitamin A level. The number of children withlow and deficient level in the above groups were 20 / 36, 16/36 and 16/17, 1/17 respectively. In children with mild and moderate malnutrition with persistent diarrhea subnormal vitamin A was found in 56.3% and 75% as compared to control gorup 37.5% and 55.6% respectively. Xerophthalmia was found in only 6 cases. We conclude that there is a signficant nutritonal status. Early supplementation of vitamin A to high risk children is strongly recommended.

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Khawar N, Younas M. Vitamin A Status and Persistent Diarrhea in Children under Five. J Postgrad Med Inst [Internet]. 2011 Sep. 9 [cited 2024 Jul. 23];12(2). Available from:
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