The effects of vitamin A supplementation on the morbidity of children
born to HIV-infected women.
Am J Public Health 1995 Aug;85(8 Pt 1):1076-81 (ISSN: 0090-0036)
Coutsoudis A; Bobat RA; Coovadia HM; Kuhn L; Tsai WY; Stein
ZA Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Natal, Durban,
OBJECTIVE. The effects of vitamin A supplementation on morbidity of
children born to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women were
evaluated in a population where vitamin A deficiency is not endemic. METHODS.
A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of vitamin A supplementation was
carried out in 118 offspring of HIV-infected women in Durban, South Africa.
Those assigned to receive a supplement were given 50,000 IU of vitamin
A at 1 and 3 months of age; 100,000 IU at 6 and 9 months; and 200,000
IU at 12 and 15 months. Morbidity in the past month was then recalled
at each follow-up visit. Analysis was based on 806 child-months. RESULTS.
Among all children, the supplemented group had lower overall morbidity
than the placebo group (OR = 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.48,
0.99). Among the 85 children of known HIV status (28 infected, 57 uninfected),
morbidity associated with diarrhea was significantly reduced in the supplemented
infected children (OR = 0.51; 95% CI = 0.27, 0.99), whereas no effect
of supplementation on diarrheal morbidity was noted among the uninfected
children. CONCLUSION. In a population not generally vitamin A deficient,
vitamin A supplementation for children of HIV-infected women appeared
to be beneficial, reducing morbidity. The benefit was observed particularly
for diarrhea among HIV-infected children.