Indonesian women of childbearing age are at greater risk of clinical vitamin A deficiency in families that spend more on rice and less on fruits/vegetables and animal-based foods

Ashley A. Campbell, Andrew Thorne-Lyman, Kai Sun, Saskia de Pee, Klaus Kraemer, Regina Moench-Pfanner, Mayang Sari, Nasima Akhter, Martin W. Bloem, Richard D. Semba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Clinical vitamin A deficiency is characterized by night blindness and greater morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to examine the relationships between household food expenditures and night blindness among nonpregnant women of childbearing age among families in the slums of Jakarta, Indonesia. In a cross-sectional study of 42 974 households in the Indonesian Nutrition Surveillance System, 1998 to 2003, night blindness was assessed in nonpregnant women. Food expenditures were divided into 5 major categories as follows: plant-based foods (fruits and vegetables), animal-based foods, eggs, other nongrain foods, and grain foods (primarily rice), calculated as percentage of total weekly per capita food expenditure, and expressed in quintiles. The proportion of households with night blindness in nonpregnant women was 0.72%. Plant-based food, animal-based food, and eggs were associated with reduced odds of night blindness (odds ratio [OR], 0.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.33-0.67; P < .0001, and OR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.29-0.76; P = .002; OR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.44-0.85; P = .004), respectively, among families in the highest compared with the lowest quintile, adjusting for potential confounders. Grain food expenditures were associated with increased odds of night blindness among nonpregnant women (OR, 2.80; 95% CI, 1.86-4.22; P < .0001) among families in the highest compared with the lowest quintile, adjusting for potential confounders. This study suggests that nonpregnant women are at greater risk of clinical vitamin A deficiency where families spend more on rice and less on animal and plant-based foods, a situation that is more typical when food prices are high.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition Research
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2009

Keywords

  • Economics
  • Food
  • Indonesia
  • Night blindness
  • Vitamin A
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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