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Relationship of serum carotenoids and retinol with anaemia among pre-school children in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam

  • Nguyen Cong Khan (a1) (a2), Phan Van Huan (a3), Nguyen Van Nhien (a3), Le Danh Tuyen (a3), Saskia de Pee (a4) and Richard D Semba (a5)...

Abstract

Objective

To characterize the relationship between serum carotenoids, retinol and anaemia among pre-school children.

Design

A cross-sectional study was conducted in two groups: anaemic and non-anaemic. Serum levels of retinol, α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin were measured in the study subjects.

Setting

Six rural communes of Dinh Hoa, a rural and mountainous district in Thai Nguyen Province, in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam.

Subjects

A total of 682 pre-school children, aged 12–72 months, were recruited.

Results

Geometric mean serum concentrations of carotenoids (μmol/l) were 0·056 for α-carotene, 0·161 for β-carotene, 0·145 for β-cryptoxanthin, 0·078 for lycopene, 0·388 for lutein and 0·075 for zeaxanthin. The mean levels of Hb and serum retinol were 108·8 g/l and 1·02 μmol/l, respectively. The prevalence of anaemia and vitamin A deficiency was 53·7 % and 7·8 %, respectively. After adjusting for sex and stunting, serum retinol concentrations (μmol/l; OR = 2·06, 95 % CI 1·10, 3·86, P = 0·024) and total provitamin A carotenoids (μmol/l; OR = 1·52, 95 % CI 1·01, 2·28, P = 0·046) were independently associated with anaemia, but non-provitamin A carotenoids (μmol/l; OR = 0·93, 95 % CI 0·63, 1·37, P = 0·710) were not associated with anaemia.

Conclusions

Among pre-school children in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam, the prevalences of vitamin A deficiency and anaemia are high, and serum retinol and provitamin A carotenoids are independently associated with anaemia. Further studies are needed to determine if increased consumption of provitamin A carotenoids will reduce anaemia among pre-school children.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email nguyencongkhan@vfa.gov.vn

References

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Keywords

Relationship of serum carotenoids and retinol with anaemia among pre-school children in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam

  • Nguyen Cong Khan (a1) (a2), Phan Van Huan (a3), Nguyen Van Nhien (a3), Le Danh Tuyen (a3), Saskia de Pee (a4) and Richard D Semba (a5)...

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