Interaction between vitamin a supplementation and chronic malnutrition on child development

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200 million pre-school age children are not developing properly. Delays in child development are associated with multiple factors. This study aims to analyze if vitamin A supplementation is associated with improved development and how this effect could be mediated by nutritional status. Population-based study surveyed a representative sample of 8000 households, 1232 children 0-35 months, in the state of Ceará, Brazil. The variables analysed included child developmental status, nutritional determinants and confounding factors. The main effects and interactions were evaluated using Cox regressive models. Vitamin A supplementation showed protective effect to delay in cognitive and motor development modified by interaction with nutritional status. While well-nourished supplemented children presented a 67% lower risk of cognitive delay (adjusted PRR = 0·33 [0·21–0·53]), stunted children had no benefit from supplementation (adjusted PRR = 0·97 [0·39–2·40]). Vitamin A supplementation has a protective effect on child development, but not in stunted children. This suggests that supplementation is effective in promoting child development, especially if associated to a joint effort to improve the nutritional status of children, given the importance of this mediator.




Correia, L. L., Rocha, H. A. L., Campos, J. S., Silva, A. C. E., Da Silveira, D. M. I., Machado, M. M. T., … Da Cunha, A. J. L. A. (2019). Interaction between vitamin a supplementation and chronic malnutrition on child development. Ciencia e Saude Coletiva, 24(8), 3037–3046.

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