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Vitamin A status among children in China

  • Jiang Jingxiong (a1), André Michael Toschke (a2), Rüdiger von Kries (a2), Berthold Koletzko (a3) and Lin Liangming (a4)...

Abstract

Objective

The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in children under 6 years old in China and to identify risk groups for VAD.

Design

A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 14 provinces from coastal, inland and western geographic areas in China.

Setting

One city (urban) and two counties (rural) were randomly selected from each province as survey areas.

Subjects

About 200 children aged 0–6 years were randomly selected in each survey area. A blood sample was collected from each child. Data on sociodemographics and nutrition were obtained by interview of the mother or principal caregiver. Fluorescence microanalysis was used to analyse serum retinol concentration.

Results

VAD (serum retinol < 0.7 μmol l− 1) was observed in 957 out of 7826 children aged 0–6 years (12.2% of the entire study population), whereas severe VAD (serum retinol < 0.35 μmol l− 1) was found in 39 children (0.5%). The highest prevalences of VAD at >1 year of age were observed among children of mothers with minority ethnicity (22.7%) or poor education (19.8%) and in the poor western area (17.4%).

Conclusions

VAD is a nutritional problem in children in China. Children living in the poor western area, having a mother with minority ethnicity or a mother with poor education have a high risk of VAD.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email jiangjingxiong@chinawch.org.cn

References

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Keywords

Vitamin A status among children in China

  • Jiang Jingxiong (a1), André Michael Toschke (a2), Rüdiger von Kries (a2), Berthold Koletzko (a3) and Lin Liangming (a4)...

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