Effectiveness of weekly vitamin A (10 000 IU) and iron (60 mg) supplementation for adolescent boys and girls through schools in rural and urban East Java, Indonesia

D. D. Soekarjo, S. de Pee, J. A. Kusin, W. H.P. Schreurs, W. Schultink, A. Muhilal, M. W. Bloem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: High prevalences of vitamin A deficiency and anaemia among adolescents warrant interventions. This study evaluated the effectiveness of school-based supplementation to reduce anaemia and improve vitamin A status. Design: School-based, grade-randomized, intervention. Subjects and setting: In all, 1757 girls and 1859 boys, aged 12-15 y, in 24 Junior High Schools. Interventions: Weekly supplementation for 14 weeks with 60 mg iron and 250 μg folate (Fe group; n = 978), 10 000 IU vitamin A (VA group; n = 970) or both (VAFe group; n = 1042) to subjects in 15 schools, compared to subjects in nine other schools not receiving supplements (control; n = 626). Results: The baseline anaemia prevalence (Hb < 120 g/l) in girls was 20% (prepubertal) and 26% (pubertal), and in boys 24% (pre-pubertal) and 11% (pubertal). Serum retinol concentrations were low (< 1.05 μ mol/l) in 41% of boys and 45% of girls. The interventions did not increase haemoglobin concentrations. Serum retinol concentration of boys, but not girls, in the VA group increased (0.33 vs 0.07 μmol/l in controls; P<0.01). The risk factors for low serum retinol concentration were lower baseline serum retinol concentration (OR 0.02-0.03) with, for girls, nightblindness at baseline (OR 5.88), and for boys, not receiving vitamin A (OR control: 1.00; VA: 0.37; Fe: 0.77; VAFe: 0.34) and maternal illiteracy (OR mother never attended school 1.00, mother received any formal education 0.17-0.33). Conclusions: Supplementation with vitamin A increased serum retinol concentration of boys. Iron supplementation did not change Hb. This appeared to be due to poor compliance, and partly related to side effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-937
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume58
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Anaemia
  • Indonesia
  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Weekly supplementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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