NightBlindness during pregnancy in Nepal: Links to nutrition and health

P. Christian, K. P. West, S. K. Khatry, L. E. Pradhan, S. Leclerq, R. J. Stoltzfijs, J. Katz, M. E. Hartley, S. R. Shrestha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Night blindness (XN) occurs in an estimated 10-20% of pregnant women in rural Nepal. Risk factors for XN during pregnancy were assessed using a matched case-control design in the south eastern plains of Nepal. Cases were XN pregnant women identified through a surveillance system and verified by an interview. Randomly selected non-XN controls were matched for months of gestation. Cases and controls (N=90 pairs) were interviewed and examined at home soon after being identified. Controls were more likely (95% CI>1) to have consumed milk (Odds Ratio=2.4), whey (OR=1.2), mangoes (OR=7), and dark green leaves (OR=2.4) in the previous week. Serum retinol of cases was 10 ng/dl lower than the controls (p< 0001), and was associated with intakes of vitamin A foods. Weight, mid arm circumference and Hb levels of cases were also significantly lower in cases. XN women were more likely to report a poor appetite (OR=3.0), nausea(OR=3.5), diarrhea (OR=3.0), painful urination (OR=2.2), and lower abdominal pain (OR- 2.0). XN during pregnancy appears to be related to vitamin A deficiency, anemia and increased risk of morbidity thus posing a significant risk to women's reproductive health and nutrition. Funded by USAID Office of Health & Nutrition, Washington DC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A246
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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