Prevalence of Clinical Vitamin A Deficiency Among Primary School Children in Urban Slums of Ahmedabad: A Cross Sectional Study 1627-1630
Naresh T. Chauhan,
Flat No 1, Shivganga Flats, Oppo. Bavlia Hanuman Temple,
Bhayanini wadi, Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India - 364003.
Phone: +919904266004; Fax: +912782431866
E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background: Although there is a substantial documentation of prevalence, severity and health consequences of vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in preschool-aged children, very few studies have been done to find out the extent of VAD in primary school children. Present study was carried out in school children (5-15 years age) from slum areas of Ahmedabad city to see the prevalence of xerophthalmia.
Aims: To clinically asses the prevalence of xerophthalmia among school going children in urban slums of Ahmedabad. To study the socio-demographic factors associated with VAD in urban slums.
Settings and Design: The present study was designed as a cross sectional study conducted in primary schools of urban slums in Ahmedabad from October 2007 to July 2008. Methods and Materials: 1000 children were randomly selected from 10 schools and examined with predesigned and pretested Performa. From each school 100 children were randomly selected from standard I-VII. Xerophthalmia was diagnosed if there was a history of night blindness, or on examination, there were signs of conjunctival xerosis, Bitot’s spots, corneal xerosis or keratomalacia.
Statistical Analysis: The collected information was analysed by using the Microsoft Excel and the Epi info 3.4 software. Chisquare test was used for analysis.
Results: In this study prevalence of VAD was found to be 2.9%. Prevalence of VAD among girls (4.1%) was significantly high than boys (1.9%). In present study 0.5% cases of night blindness, 1.4% cases of conjunctival xerosis and 2.1% cases of Bitot’s spot were found. Types of family, lower social class (class IV & V) and poor intakes of green vegetables were significantly associated with the vitamin A deficiency.
Conclusion: The observation of this study underlines the magnitude and severity of vitamin A deficiency in an age group that policy makers do not usually consider to be at risk in this respect.