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SHORT COMMUNICATION Table of Contents   
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 44  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 162-165
Prevalence and risk factors of Vitamin A deficiency in children and women of childbearing age in a Southern Indian Tribal Population: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Community Health, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Gastrointestinal Sciences, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Divya Elizabeth Muliyil
Department of Community Health, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijcm.IJCM_213_18

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Background: Night blindness and keratomalacia continue to be a problem among the tribal children and pregnant women residing in Jawadhi hills. Objectives: The objective of the study is to determine the prevalence and risk factors of Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) among children aged 1–8 years and women of reproductive age in a southern Indian tribal population. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was done among children aged 1–8 years and women aged 15–45 years residing in Jawadhi hills. Participants were randomly selected by cluster sampling. Their sociodemographic characteristics and frequency of consumption of Vitamin A rich food were collected through a structured questionnaire. Anthropometric measures and serum retinol levels, using high-performance liquid chromatography, were estimated for all participants. Results: A total of 166 children and 211 women participated in this study. The prevalence of VAD among the children (1–8 years) was 10.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] 5.5%–14.9%) and among women of the reproductive age group was 3.8% (95% CI: 1.2%–6.4%). Dietary intake was not associated with serum retinol levels. Low educational status of the head of the household (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 8.9) and pregnancy (aOR = 11.6) was significantly associated with an increased risk of VAD among children and women, respectively. Conclusions: The prevalence of VAD among children is a moderate public health problem. Strategies must focus on pregnant women and children from families with more than four children.

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