Impact of Vitamin A Supplementation on Childhood Mortality. A Randomised Controlled Community Trial

Lancet. 1986 May 24;1(8491):1169-73. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(86)91157-8.

Abstract

450 villages in northern Sumatra were randomly assigned to either participate in a vitamin A supplementation scheme (n = 229) or serve for 1 year as a control (n = 221). 25 939 preschool children were examined at baseline and again 11 to 13 months later. Capsules containing 200 000 IU vitamin A were distributed to preschool children aged over 1 year by local volunteers 1 to 3 months after baseline enumeration and again 6 months later. Among children aged 12-71 months at baseline, mortality in control villages (75/10 231, 7.3 per 1000) was 49% greater than in those where supplements were given (53/10 919, 4.9 per 1000) (p less than 0.05). The impact of vitamin A supplementation seemed to be greater in boys than in girls. These results support earlier observations linking mild vitamin A deficiency to increased mortality and suggest that supplements given to vitamin A deficient populations may decrease mortality by as much as 34%.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Capsules
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Community Health Services
  • Diarrhea / epidemiology
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Indonesia
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mortality*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rural Health
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Vitamin A / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin A / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamin A Deficiency / prevention & control
  • Xerophthalmia / prevention & control

Substances

  • Capsules
  • Vitamin A