Vitamin A status of term and preterm infants delivered at Harare Central Hospital and fed exclusively on breast milk
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Objective: To investigate the vitamin A status of pregnant mothers, lactatating mothers, preterm and term infants who were being fed exclusively on breast milk. Design: Systematic/cross sectional. Setting: Vitamin A research laboratory, animal science research laboratory, University of Zimbabwe, and Harare Central Hospital.Subjects: 105 pregnant mothers attending the antenatal clinic at Harare Centra! Hospital for a routine check up were recruited for the study. Two groups of infants: (hose born at term and those with gestational age<36 weeks. Main Outcome Measures: Serum retinol levels of infants/mothers pairs. Breast milk retinol levels. Result: The serum retinol levels for the infants were similar irrespective of age with a mean of 26.15 ± 9.78 pg/dl. There was no statistically significant difference. The mean serum retinol levels of infants and mothers were significantly different, (p = 0.001). With mother/infant ratio of serum retinol concentration of 1.7:1. Maternal serum retinol levels correlated positively with infant serum retinol levels, r = 0.728. Forty four percent of the preterm and 17% of the term infants had serum retinol levels < 20 iig dl. indicating deficiency, and only 20% of the infants had retinol levels > 40 ug/dl. Conclusion: The majority of infants might be at risk of vitamin A deficiency. Increased intake of vitamin A in pregnant women is necessary, and direct vitamin A supplementation of infants should be considered.
Additional Citation InformationChinyanga, E. A., Chidede, O., Choga, T., Machisvo, A., Malaba, L. and Sibanda, E. N. (2005). Vitamin A status of term and preterm infants delivered at Harare Central Hospital and fed exclusively on breast milk .Central African Journal of Medicine, 50 (1/2), 10-4.
University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences