Carotenoid status among preschool children with vitamin A deficiency in the Republic of the Marshall Islands

Mary V. Gamble, Neal A. Palafox, Barbara Dancheck, Michelle O. Ricks, Kennar Briand, Richard D. Semba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although carotenoids are known to be important dietary sources of vitamin A, there have been few epidemiological studies that have characterized the serum concentrations of major dietary carotenoids among preschool children with vitamin A deficiency. We conducted a population-based, cross-sectional study of serum provitamin A carotenoids (α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin), non-provitamin A carotenoids (lutein/ zeaxanthin, and lycopene), and retinol among 278 children, aged 1-5 y, in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Vitamin A deficiency was defined as serum retinol <0.70 μmol/L. Geometric mean serum concentrations of carotenoids among children with and without vitamin A deficiency were 0.003 vs 0.006 μmol/L for α-carotene (P = 0.0017), 0.011 vs 0.023 μmol/L for β-carotene (P <0.0001), 0.023 vs 0.034 μmol/L for β-cryptoxanthin (P = 0.0075), 0.007 vs 0.012 μmol/L for lycopene (P = 0.037), 0.044 vs 0.052 μmol/L for lutein/zeaxanthin (P = 0.2), and 0.045 vs 0.074 μmol/L for total provitamin A carotenoids (P <0.0001) respectively. In a multivariate analysis adjusting for sex, age (Odds Ratio [O.R.] 1.44, 95% confidence interval [C.I.] 1.16-1.78), and serum provitamin A carotenoids (O.R. 0.49, 95% C.I. 0.34-0.71) were associated with vitamin A deficiency, but serum non-provitamin A carotenoids were not associated with vitamin A deficiency (O.R. 0.93, 95% C.I. 0.67-1.28). Preschool children with vitamin A deficiency in the Republic of the Marshall Islands have extremely low serum concentrations of provitamin A carotenoids and interventions are needed to improve the dietary intake of provitamin A carotenoids among Marshallese children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-340
Number of pages5
JournalAsia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition
Volume13
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004

Keywords

  • Children
  • Republic of Marshall Islands
  • Retinol
  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • α-carotene
  • β-carotene
  • β-cryptoxanthin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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