Potential interventions for the prevention of childhood pneumonia in developing countries: A meta-analysis of data from field trials to assess the impact of vitamin A supplementation on pneumonia morbidity and mortality

A. Sommer, L. Rahmathullah, B. Underwood, R. Milton, V. Reddy, K. West, N. Daulaire, T. Stukel, G. Herrera, S. Stansfield, D. Ross, B. R. Kirkwood, P. Arthur, S. Morris, C. Kjolhede, M. Dibley, M. Barreto, M. K. Bhan, S. Gove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Reported are the results of a meta-analysis (12 large-scale field trials in seven countries) of the impact of vitamin A supplementation on pneumonia morbidity and mortality, undertaken as part of a wider review process of a range of possible potential interventions for the prevention of childhood pneumonia. The summary estimate of the relative risk for the impact of vitamin A supplementation on pneumonia incidence was 0.95 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.89, 1.01), and for pneumonia mortality, 0.98 (95% CI = 0.75, 1.28). This is in marked contrast to the substantial impact of vitamin A supplementation on all-cause mortality (combined rate ratio (RR) = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.71, 0.84), and on diarrhoea-specific and measles-specific mortality. There was no evidence for a differential impact on pneumonia mortality on age. Since the majority of pneumonia deaths occur in the first year of life, we complemented the paucity of data on pneumonia-specific mortality among this age group with a detailed examination of all-cause mortality among infants. The mortality reduction in the 6-11-month age group was consistent with that observed for older age groups (RR = 0.69; 95% CI = 0.54, 0.90), but there was no reduction for 0-5-month-olds (RR = 0.97; 95% CI = 0.73, 1.29).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-619
Number of pages11
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization
Volume73
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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    Sommer, A., Rahmathullah, L., Underwood, B., Milton, R., Reddy, V., West, K., Daulaire, N., Stukel, T., Herrera, G., Stansfield, S., Ross, D., Kirkwood, B. R., Arthur, P., Morris, S., Kjolhede, C., Dibley, M., Barreto, M., Bhan, M. K., & Gove, S. (1995). Potential interventions for the prevention of childhood pneumonia in developing countries: A meta-analysis of data from field trials to assess the impact of vitamin A supplementation on pneumonia morbidity and mortality. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 73(5), 609-619.