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Dietary vitamin A intake and serum retinol concentrations of preschool children from different socio-economical levels in İzmir, Turkey

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Abstract Aim: 

Vitamin A deficiency (VAD), especially in its subclinical form, is a world health problem in young children. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of VAD among preschool children in various socio-economic groups in İzmir, Turkey. Methods: 

One hundred and one children aged 24–59 months were selected for the study with cluster sampling method. A questionnaire was completed by the parents, and the dietary pattern was assessed by using a 3-day dietary record method. Results: 

Mean serum retinol concentration of the children was 28.3 ± 10.2 μg/dL. Serum vitamin A concentration of two children (2%) was below 10 μg/dL (VAD), whereas 18 (18%) children had vitamin A concentrations between 10 and 20 μg/dL (subclinical deficiency). We did not find any relationship between mean serum retinol concentrations and the independent variables such as socio-economical levels, age groups, birth weight and gestational age. However, there was a statistically significant positive correlation between serum retinol concentrations and weight-for-age and weight-for-height Z scores of the children (p < 0.05). Conclusion: 

Because one-fifth of the children under 5 years have VAD in İzmir, Turkey, nutrition education must be given to the families during well-child care visits, and routine vitamin supplementation should be considered especially in children with malnutrition.

Keywords: Children; Malnutrition; Retinol; Vitamin A

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2011

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