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J Nutr. 2001 May;131(5):1510-2.

Maternal night blindness increases risk of mortality in the first 6 months of life among infants in Nepal.

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  • 1Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Night blindness occurs commonly among women during pregnancy in rural NEPAL: We examined the relationship between maternal night blindness and the risk of mortality occurring among infants in the first 6 mo of life. Stratified analysis by maternal night blindness status during pregnancy was done for 10,000 women participating in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of vitamin A and beta-carotene supplementation. Mortality of infants of non-night blind women in all three supplementation groups was similar, and when combined, was 63/1000 live births. Relative to this, mortality was higher by 63% [95% confidence interval (CI): 9-138%) and 50% (95% CI: -3 to 133%) among infants of night blind women receiving placebo and beta-carotene, respectively, but only by 14% (95% CI: -33 to 93%) among those receiving vitamin A. Thus, 6-mo mortality was higher among infants of women who had night blindness during pregnancy. Maternal receipt of vitamin A reduced this risk.

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