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J Trop Pediatr. 2001 Oct;47(5):307-10. doi: 10.1093/tropej/47.5.307.

Vitamin A and neonatal anthropometry.

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Nutrition Department, Public Health School, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


Low levels of vitamin A have a major impact on growth, development, and immunity. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between cord concentrations of vitamin A and neonatal anthropometry in 711 babies born at term in Brazil. Gestational age of the babies was evaluated by the Capurro method. Vitamin A was measured by high performance liquid chromatography. Concentrations of vitamin A in cord blood correlated significantly (p < 0.001) with birthweight (r = 0.24), length (r = 0.20), chest circumference (r = 0.24), mid-upper arm circumference (r = 0.23), triceps skinfold thickness (r = 0.26), and head circumference (r = 0.12) of the babies. The anthropometric measurements of the babies were sorted by the vitamin A concentrations (means and standard deviations) and divided into quartiles. Differences between the quartiles were tested by analysis of variance. Babies in the bottom length, head circumference and triceps skinfold thickness quartiles had lower mean vitamin A concentrations than those of quartiles two, three and four. Babies in the bottom birthweight, chest and mid-upper arm circumferences quartiles had lower mean vitamin A concentrations than those of quartiles three and four (p < 0.003). These data shows that smaller/shorter babies had lower concentrations of vitamin A than heavier/longer babies, probably reflecting the important role of this micronutrient on growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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