Impact of neonatal vitamin A supplementation on infant morbidity and mortality
Journal of Pediatrics
Objective: To determine whether vitamin A supplementation at birth could reduce infant morbidity and mortality. Study design: We conducted a placebo- controlled trial among 2067 Indonesian neonates who received either 52 μmol (50,000 IU) orally administered vitamin A or placebo on the first day of life. Infants were followed up at 1 year to determine the impact of this intervention on infant mortality. A subgroup (n = 470) was also examined at 4 and 6 months of age to examine the impact on morbidity. Results: Vital status was confirmed in 89% of infants in both groups at 1 year. There were 19 deaths in the control group and 7 in the vitamin A group (relative risk = 0.36; 95% confidence interval = 0.16, 0.87). The impact was stronger among boys, infants of normal compared with low birth weight, and those of greater ponderal index. Among infants examined at 4 months of age, the 1-week period prevalence of common morbidities was similar for vitamin A and control infants. However, during this same 4-month period, 73% and 51% more control infants were brought for medical treatment for cough (p=0.008) and fever (p=0.063), respectively. Conclusions: Neonatal vitamin A supplementation may reduce the infant mortality rate and the prevalence of severe respiratory infection among young infants.
Humphrey, J., Agoestina, T., Wu, L., Usman, A., Nurachim, M., Subardja, D., Hidayat, S., Tielsch, J., West, K., & Sommer, A. (1996). Impact of neonatal vitamin A supplementation on infant morbidity and mortality. Journal of Pediatrics, 128 (4). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0022-3476(96)70359-1