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To examine the relationship between homestead food production and night blindness among pre-school children in rural Bangladesh in the presence of a national vitamin A supplementation programme.
A cross-sectional study.
A population-based sample of six rural divisions of Bangladesh assessed in the Bangladesh Nutrition Surveillance Project 2001–2005.
A total of 158 898 children aged 12–59 months.
The prevalence rates of night blindness in children among those who did and did not receive vitamin A capsules in the last 6 months were 0·07 % and 0·13 %, respectively. Given the known effect of vitamin A supplementation on night blindness, the analysis was stratified by children's receipt of vitamin A capsules in the last 6 months. Among children who did not receive vitamin A capsules in the last 6 months, the lack of a home garden was associated with increased odds of night blindness (OR = 3·16, 95 % CI 1·76, 5·68; P = 0·0001). Among children who received vitamin A capsules in the last 6 months, the lack of a home garden was not associated with night blindness (OR = 1·28, 95 % CI 0·71, 2·31; P = 0·4).
Homestead food production confers a protective effect against night blindness among pre-school children who missed vitamin A supplementation in rural Bangladesh.
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.
Community Nutrition Promoter (CNP) centres in Kapasia sub-district of Gazipur district, Bangladesh.
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.
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).
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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