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Extent of vitamin A deficiency among rural pregnant women in Bangladesh

  • Vanessa Lee (a1), Faruk Ahmed (a2) (a3), Shoko Wada (a4), Tahmeed Ahmed (a5) (a6), AM Shamsir Ahmed (a5), Cadi Parvin Banu (a7) and Nasima Akhter (a8)...

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency (VAD) among pregnant women in rural Bangladesh, and examine the relationship between various factors and vitamin A status.

Setting

Community Nutrition Promoter (CNP) centres in Kapasia sub-district of Gazipur district, Bangladesh.

Design

A cross-sectional study.

Subjects and methods

Two hundred women, aged 18–39 years, in their second or third trimester of pregnancy were selected from seventeen CNP centres in four unions of Kapasia sub-district where they usually visit for antenatal care. Various socio-economic, personal and pregnancy-related information, dietary intake of vitamin A and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) data were collected. Serum retinol (vitamin A) concentration was determined.

Results

More than half (51 %) of the pregnant women had low vitamin A status (serum retinol <1·05 μmol/l) with 18·5 % having VAD (serum retinol <0·70 μmol/l). Fifty-three per cent of the women’s vitamin A intake was less than the recommended dietary allowance. By multiple regression analysis, MUAC, per-capita expenditure on food and wealth index were found to have significant independent positive relationship with serum retinol concentration, while gestational age of the pregnant women had a negative relationship. The overall F-ratio (10·3) was highly significant (P = 0·0001), the adjusted R2 was 0·18 (multiple R = 0·45).

Conclusion

VAD is highly prevalent among rural pregnant women in Bangladesh. Gestational age, nutritional status, per-capita expenditure on food and wealth index appear to be important in influencing the vitamin A status of these women. An appropriate intervention is warranted in order to improve the vitamin A status.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email f.ahmed@cfw.kuniv.edu

References

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Keywords

Extent of vitamin A deficiency among rural pregnant women in Bangladesh

  • Vanessa Lee (a1), Faruk Ahmed (a2) (a3), Shoko Wada (a4), Tahmeed Ahmed (a5) (a6), AM Shamsir Ahmed (a5), Cadi Parvin Banu (a7) and Nasima Akhter (a8)...

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