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Supplemental Vitamin A Improves Anemia and Growth in Anemic School Children in Tanzania

Mwanri, L., Worsley, A., Ryan, P. and Masika, J. (2000) Supplemental Vitamin A Improves Anemia and Growth in Anemic School Children in Tanzania. The Journal of Nutrition, 130 (11). pp. 2691-2696. (Submitted)

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We conducted a randomized controlled trial of the effects of dietary supplements on anemia, weight
and height in 136 anemic school children from a low socioeconomic background in Bagamoyo District schools in
Tanzania. The aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of dietary supplements on anemia and
anthropometric indices of anemic school children. The supplements were vitamin A alone, iron and vitamin A, iron
alone or placebo, administered in a double-blinded design for 3 mo. All supplements were provided with local corn
meals. Hemoglobin concentration, body weight and height were measured at baseline and at follow-up after
supplementation. Vitamin A supplementation increased the mean hemoglobin concentration by 13.5 g/L compared
with 3.5 g/L for placebo [P , 0.0001, 95% confidence interval (CI) 6.19–13.57), the mean body weight by 0.6 kg
compared with 0.2 kg for placebo (P , 0.0001, 95% CI 0.19–0.65) and the mean height by 0.4 cm compared with
0.1 cm for placebo (P 5 0.0009, 95% CI 0.08–0.42). However, the group of children who received combined
vitamin A and iron supplementation had the greatest improvements in all indicators compared with placebo (18.5
g/L, P , 0.0001, 95% CI 14.81–22.23; 0.7 kg, P , 0.0001, 95% CI 0.43–0.88 and 0.4 cm, P , 0.0001, 95% CI
0.22–0.56 for hemoglobin, weight and height, respectively). It is likely that vitamin A supplementation may have a
useful role in combating the problems of vitamin A deficiency and anemia, as well as in improving children’s growth,
in developing countries. J. Nutr. 130: 2691–2696, 2000.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Anemia,rural school children,vitamin A,iron,randomized controlled trial
Subjects: Nutrition & food security > Vitamin A
Divisions: Other
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Madata
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2012 14:08
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2012 14:08

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