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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2008  |  Volume: 11  |  Issue: 13  |  Page No.: 1702 - 1707

Vitamin A Status of Pregnant Women in Calabar Metropolis, Nigeria

Ima O. Williams, Okon U. Eka and Essien U. Essien    

Abstract: The vitamin A status of 101 pregnant women attending clinic at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Calabar, Nigeria was assessed based on 24 h dietary recall, serum retinol concentration, history of night blindness, physical appearance and clinical eye signs. The study revealed that the mean dietary vitamin A intake of the respondents (2645.31 ±188.91 μg RE) and their mean serum retinol concentration (31.18 ±2.94 μg dL-1) were significantly (p<0.05) higher than the FAO/WHO recommended intake and cutoff level for VAD. No case of night blindness, physical signs and symptoms, or clinical eye signs attributable to VAD was observed. There was a significant (p<0.01) correlation between the amount of 24 h vitamin A intake of the women and their serum retinol concentration (r = 0.31). Also, women who had above 50% of their vitamin A intake from provitamin A sources had a significantly (p<0.05) lower serum retinol concentration (23.10 ±21.12 μg dL-1) than those who had above 50% intake from preformed sources (49.54 ±42.63 μg dL-1) and those with about equal intake from both sources (55.75 ±30.80 μg dL-1). There was a significant (p<0.05) and steady decline in serum retinol concentration in the women from the first trimester (37.79 ±6.65 μg dL-1), through the second trimester (35.12 ±4.72 μg dL-1), to the third trimester (21.54 ±1.46 μg dL-1) of pregnancy.

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