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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Vitamin A supplementation and increased prevalence of childhood diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections.

There is uncertainty over whether vitamin A supplementation reduces morbidity among children with subclinical deficiency of the vitamin. Hence a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the effect of vitamin A supplementation on childhood morbidity was conducted among 11,124 children aged 6-83 months in the northwest of Haiti. After a random start, children were sequentially assigned by household units to receive either megadose vitamin A or placebo in three distribution cycles 4 months apart. 2 to 8 weeks after each administration of the vitamin A and placebo capsules, indicators of childhood morbidity were reassessed through interviews conducted in the homes of participating families. The vitamin A group was found to have an increased 2-week prevalence of all symptoms and signs of childhood morbidity assessed, including diarrhoea (rate ratio [RR] = 1.09, 95% confidence interval 1.05-1.14), rhinitis (RR = 1.02, 95% confidence interval 1.00-1.04), cold/flu symptoms (RR = 1.04, 95% confidence interval 1.01-1.06), cough (RR = 1.07, 95% confidence interval 1.03-1.11), and rapid breathing (RR = 1.18, 95% confidence interval 1.09-1.27). The study shows an increased 2-week prevalence of diarrhoea and the symptoms of respiratory infections after vitamin A supplementation.[1]


  1. Vitamin A supplementation and increased prevalence of childhood diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections. Stansfield, S.K., Pierre-Louis, M., Lerebours, G., Augustin, A. Lancet (1993) [Pubmed]
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