Breast-feeding status alters the effect of vitamin A treatment during acute diarrhea in children

Bhandari, Nita ; Bahl, Rajiv ; Sazawal, Sunil ; Bhan, Maharaj K. (1997) Breast-feeding status alters the effect of vitamin A treatment during acute diarrhea in children The Journal of Nutrition, 127 (1). pp. 59-63. ISSN 0022-3166

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Vitamin A administration in children reduces the incidence of severe diarrhea during the subsequent few months. We therefore examined the effect of treatment with vitamin A during acute diarrhea on the episode duration and severity. In a double-blind controlled field trial, 900 children 1 to 5 y of age with acute diarrhea of ≤ 7 d duration were randomly assigned to receive vitamin A (60 mg) or a placebo. Children were followed up at home every alternate day until they recovered from the diarrheal episode. In all study children, those treated with vitamin A had a significantly lower risk of persistent diarrhea [odds ratio (OR) 0.30, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.07-0.97], but there was no effect on the mean diarrheal duration or the mean stool frequency. In the subgroup of children who were not breast-fed, the mean diarrheal duration [ratio of geometric means (GM) 0.84, 95% CI 0.72-0.97], mean number of stools passed after the intervention (ratio of GM 0.73, 95% CI 0.56-0.95), the proportion of episodes lasting ≥ 14 d (P = 0.002) and the percentage of children who passed watery stools on any study day (OR 0.40, 95% CI 0.21-0.77) were significantly lower in those treated with vitamin A. We conclude that administration of vitamin A during acute diarrhea may reduce the severity of the episode and the risk of persistent diarrhea in non-breast-fed children. Similar benefit was not seen in breast-fed children.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to American Society of Nutritional Sciences.
Keywords:Vitamin A; Acute Diarrhea; Severity; Breast-feeding; Children
ID Code:2462
Deposited On:07 Oct 2010 11:37
Last Modified:16 May 2016 13:26

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