To estimate vitamin A status by measuring plasma trans retinol concentrations among lactating Nepalese mothers and their infants and explore variables associated with it.
In a cross-sectional survey, a total of 500 randomly selected lactating mother-infant pairs were enrolled and vitamin A deficiency and marginal deficiency was defined when trans retinol was <0.70 µmol/L and <1.05 µmol/L, respectively.
The mean (SD), median and IQR of trans retinol among infants were 0.96 µmol/L (0.25), 0.95 µmol/L and 0.79-1.1 µmol/L, respectively. Similar figures among mothers were 1.5 µmol/L (0.46), 1.5 µmol/L and 1.2-1.8 µmol/L. The prevalence of vitamin A deficiency and marginal deficiency was 3 and 13% among mothers which was fivefold higher among infants. None of the mothers and infants were severely deficient (<0.35 µmol/L) in vitamin A. In spearman analysis, vitamin A status of mother was positively correlated with infant status (r= 0.12) and 25% infants of mothers with low vitamin A status (<1.05 µmol/L) were vitamin A deficient while it was only 13% among infants of mother with normal vitamin A status (p=0.01).The final presentation will describe risk factors for child and maternal deficiency of vitamin A including maternal dietary intake, breastfeeding, infection measured by CRP, and status of other nutrients
Vitamin A deficiency particularly among breastfed infants is a moderate public health problem and correlated with the mother status. Our results highlight the importance of continued vitamin A supplementation for children and also improve vitamin A status by expanding food fortification or diversification.