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Summary: Vitamin A is an essential micronutrient needed by the body for various physiological functions. Its deficiency is associated with several functional disorders. The objective of this study is to determine blood vitamin A levels in malnourished and healthy children.
Methods: It is a cross-sectional analytical study, consisting of determining the vitamin A content in the blood of children suffering from malnutrition and those in good nutritional status. Our sampling was casual and 59 children aged 6 to 59 months were retained. Among them 30 healthy children chosen from those attending preschool consultation at U HC and 29 malnourished children from those followed at M TNU for the management of malnutrition. The serum vitamin A assay was performed according to the method described by Tietz. Children with serum vitamin A level below 30 μg / 100 ml had vitamin A deficiency and those with a serum level greater than or equal to 30 μg / 100 ml had good vitamin A status. Percent, average and standard deviation calculations were performed. The Chi square statistical test was used to compare serum vitamin A content in healthy and malnourished children, as well as other maternal parameters for a significance level of 0.05.
Results: from 59 children examined, 30 or 50.8% were 6-17 months old, the average age was 21.9 ± 13 months. 45.7% had a serum retinol level between 50-59 μg/100 ml; the average value was 46.84 μg ± 14.27. The prevalence of VAD was 20.3% and this deficit was more marked in children aged 6-17 months that is 50% (P<0.014). Among 12 children with VAD, 10 or 83.3% were the wealthy and two were the malnourished, the difference was statically significant (P< 0.011).
Conclusion: Vitamin A deficiency remains a major health problem in the DRC. This affect all children regardless of their current nutritional status. Supplementation with this vitamin remains one of the palliative solutions.
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