Determinants of Subclinical Vitamin A Deficiency among children 1-5 years in a rural community of Jammu


  • Shivali Suri
  • Dinesh Kumar


Background: The burden of sub-clinical vitamin A deficiency (VAD), as evident by serum retinol levels, is huge (62%) among preschool children in India. Sub-clinical VAD increases children’s' susceptibility to infections, reduces physical growth and decreases the ability to survive from serious illnesses. Aims & Objectives: To assess the burden of subclinical VAD and study the various risk factors associated with it among children 1-5 years of age. Material Methods: A cross sectional community based study was conducted among 750 children selected from 15 villages adopting multistage random sampling from January to December 2011. Heller Keller International Food Frequency Questionnaire (HKI- FFQ) was used to assess intakes of 28 food-items including vitamin A rich foods for the past 7 days. Various risk factors like socio-demographic profile, dietary pattern, vitamin A supplementation and breast feeding patterns were also studied. Results: Twelve of the fifteen cluster villages studied were found to be at risk of subclinical VAD. 30.6 % of study subjects had not received even a single dose of Vitamin A. Almost one-third of the subjects had not been breast-fed for the recommended 6 months. Age and socio-economic status were significantly associated with the risk of sub-clinical VAD. Among the dietary factors, consumption of purely vegetarian foods and intake of green leafy vegetables less than thrice a week were significantly associated with enhanced risk of sub-clinical VAD. Conclusion: Sub Clinical VAD is a public health problem of wide-spread importance.   Dietary diversification along with enhanced coverage of Vitamin A supplementation can tackle the problem of subclinical VAD


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Suri S, Kumar D. Determinants of Subclinical Vitamin A Deficiency among children 1-5 years in a rural community of Jammu. Indian J Community Health [Internet]. 2015 Jun. 30 [cited 2024 May 28];27(2):263-9. Available from:



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