Title

Mortality of infants <6 mo of age supplemented with vitamin A: A randomized, double-masked trial in Nepal

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-1995

Journal

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Volume

62

Issue

1

DOI

10.1093/ajcn/62.1.143

Keywords

infant mortality; intolerance; supplementation; verbal autopsy; Vitamin A

Abstract

The effect of supplementing 11 918 infants < 1 mo and 1-5 mo of age with vitamin A (15 000 and 30 000 μg retinol equivalents or 50 000 and 100 000 IU, respectively) or a placebo on subsequent 4-mo mortality was assessed in a randomized, double-masked community trial in the rural plains of Nepal. There were 130 deaths (51.6/1000 child-y) in the control group and 150 deaths (57.1/1000 child-y) in the vitamin A group, yielding a relative risk of 1.11 (95% CI: 0.86, 1.42), which is indicative of no overall effect on early infant mortality. There was a tendency for the relative risk of mortality among vitamin A recipients to rise with improved nutritional status. These results suggest that distribution of a large oral dose of vitamin A to infants < 5-6 mo of age may not benefit short-term survival. This is in contrast with the results of trials in which older infants and children in this same population were supplemented.

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