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Research Letter
Aug 2011

Vitamin A Deficiency in Schoolchildren in Urban Central India: The Central India Children Eye Study

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Suraj Eye Institute, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India (Drs Sinha, Jonas, Kulkarni, and Nangia); and Department of Ophthalmology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany (Dr Jonas).

Arch Ophthalmol. 2011;129(8):1095-1096. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2011.198

Vitamin A deficiency is a severe condition particularly in malnourished children and women in developing countries.1,2 It has been estimated that approximately 250 000 to 500 000 malnourished children go blind each year from a deficiency of vitamin A, approximately half of whom die within a year of becoming blind. The most recent survey data obtained from 8 state surveys in 2003 suggest that 62% of preschoolers in India are vitamin A deficient, having serum retinol concentrations lower than 20 μg/dL (to convert to micromoles per liter, multiply by 0.0349).3 Against this background of rural deficiency, we conducted this study to assess the prevalence of symptoms of vitamin A deficiency in schoolchildren in urban central India.