Epidemiological aspects of prenatal exposure to high doses of vitamin A in Spain

Eur J Epidemiol. 1990 Jun;6(2):118-23. doi: 10.1007/BF00145783.


Reports of the human teratogenicity of retinoids have raised concern about the potential human teratogenicity of high doses of vitamin A. Nevertheless, there are few human case reports of excess intake of vitamin A during pregnancy and defective outcomes. No epidemiological studies have been carried out on this subject. Here we present the results of an epidemiological study of prenatal exposure to high doses of vitamin A in Spain, using data from the Spanish hospital-based, case-control registry. Although it is difficult to reach conclusions with such a very low exposure level (1.3 per 1,000 livebirths), our results suggest that a teratogenic effect might exist for exposures to high doses of vitamin A (OR = 0.5, p = 0.15 for less than 40,000 IU and OR = 2.7, p = 0.06 for 40,000 IU or more). As we might expect, this effect also seems to be related to the organogenetic status (OR = 5.4, p = 0.1 for 1st-2nd month, OR = 1.8, p = 0.4 for 3rd onwards) at the time of exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypervitaminosis A / epidemiology*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Vitamin A / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin A / adverse effects*


  • Vitamin A