FNS  Vol.4 No.2 , February 2013
History of Vitamin A Supplementation Reduces Severity of Diarrhea in Young Children Admitted to Hospital with Diarrhea and Pneumonia
Abstract: Background: Although the role of vitamin A in childhood pneumonia in association with diarrhea is not fully proven, we did not find any published data demonstrating the impact of lack of vitamin A supplementation in under-five children who present with the co-morbidities of pneumonia and diarrhea. This study examined whether previous vitamin A supplementation was associated with reduced severity and duration of diarrhea and pneumonia for children presenting with both illnesses. Methods: All admitted children (n = 189) aged 0 - 59 months to the Special Care Ward of the Dhaka Hospital of icddr,b with diarrhea and radiological pneumonia from September-December 2007 were enrolled. We compared clinical features of the children who received (n = 96) and did not receive (n = 93) high potency capsule vitamin A supplementation during previous immunization according to EPI schedule. Results: In logistic regression analysis, after adjusting for potential confounders such as respiratory rate, lower chest wall in-drawing, severe wasting and systolic blood pressure, vitamin A non-supplemented children with pneumonia and diarrhea more often presented in their early infancy (95% CI 1.01 - 1.09), had duration of diarrhea for >4 days (95% CI 1.79 - 11.88), had clinical dehydration (95% CI 1.2 - 5.63), and more often required hospitalization for >7 days (95% CI 1.03 - 8.87). But, there was no significant difference in the clinical features of pneumonia, such as history of cough, respiratory rate, lower chest wall in-drawing, nasal flaring, head nodding, grunting respiration, cyanosis, and inability to drink between the groups. Conclusion: Lack of vitamin A supplementation in under-five children with radiological pneumonia and diarrhea is independently associated with young infancy, duration of diarrhea for >4 days, dehydration and hospitalization for >7 days which underscores the importance of routine supplementation of vitamin A in young infancy. However, lack of vitamin A supplementation did not influence any clinical signs of pneumonia.
Cite this paper: M. Chisti, M. Salam, A. Faruque, H. Ashraf, P. Bardhan, S. Das, S. Huq, F. Chowdhury, S. Islam and T. Ahmed, "History of Vitamin A Supplementation Reduces Severity of Diarrhea in Young Children Admitted to Hospital with Diarrhea and Pneumonia," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2013, pp. 150-155. doi: 10.4236/fns.2013.42021.

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