The study objective was to estimate the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in mothers and newborns of a public maternity hospital in Ribeirao Preto (Brazil) through four indicators, verifying the correlation between them and the association with obstetric, anthropometric and socioeconomic data.
Descriptive cross-sectional study with 180 pairs of mothers and their newborns. Them being healthy mothers aged 18 or older, mothers of a single fetus born at term, via vaginal delivery or cesarean section, and birth weight higher than 2500g. Serum retinol and breast milk retinol was determined by HPLC and levels =0.70 µmol/l in serum and =1.05 µmol/l in milk indicatedvitamin A deficiency. Mothersâ vitamin A intake was assessed with an adapted questionnaire.
The prevalence ofvitamin A deficiencyin the mothersâ serum, cord blood, breast milk and food intake were 57.2%, 94.9%, 27.9% and 44.7%, respectively. The mean retinol concentrations in maternal serum, breast milk and umbilical cord were 0.65±0.27µmol/l, 0.36±0.18µmol/l and 2.95±2.70µmol/l, respectively; the average intake of vitamin A was 1041.33±1187.86 µg RAE. There was not a significant correlation between retinol concentrations in the mothersâ serum, cord blood, breast milk and vitamin A intake. Correlations were not found between these variables with obstetric, anthropometric and socioeconomic variables.
High prevalences ofvitamin A deficiencywere found in mothers and newborns. There was no correlation between vitamin A intake by pregnant women, retinol concentrations in breast milk, nor in the mother-infant blood.