The effects of vitamin A supplementation on the morbidity of children
born to HIV-infected women.
American journal of public health; VOL: 85 (8 Pt 1); p. 1076-81
Coutsoudis A; Bobat RA; Coovadia HM; Kuhn L; Tsai WY; Stein ZA
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