Vitamin a supplementation of vitamin a deficient measles patients lowers
the risk of measles-related pneumonia in zambian children.
The Journal of Nutrition 2002 Dec;132(12):3700-3
This is an a posteriori analysis of previously published data to assess
whether improving vitamin A (VA) status resolves measles-related pneumonia
(MP). Nonhospitalized acute measles patients (2 d of rash onset) had
their VA status determined based on the molar ratio of retinol-binding
protein to transthyretin (RBP/TTR). Using a cutoff value of </=0.36,
indicative of marginal VA deficiency, 82 children were diagnosed as marginally
VA deficient and 114 were diagnosed as VA sufficient. At baseline, marginally
VA-deficient patients had significantly lower serum retinol and higher
serum C-reactive protein concentrations than VA-sufficient children.
At the 2-wk follow-up visit, serum retinol and the RBP/TTR ratio were
significantly greater in marginally VA-deficient measles patients receiving
VA supplements than in those receiving placebo; whereas in VA-sufficient
measles patients, retinol increased in those receiving VA supplements
or placebo. Concomitantly the odds ratio of unresolved pneumonia in marginally
VA-deficient measles patients receiving VA supplements compared with
those receiving placebo was 0.20 (95% confidence interval, 0.05-0.71).
In conclusion, VA supplements during measles infection improved VA status
of VA-deficient children and helped resolve MP, demonstrating the importance
of determining VA status when assessing the efficacy of VA supplements