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Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Dec;74(6):808-13.

Postpartum thiamine deficiency in a Karen displaced population.

Author information

1
Shoklo Malaria Research Unit, Mae Sot, Thailand.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Before its recognition, infantile beriberi was the leading cause of infant death in camps for displaced persons of the Karen ethnic minority on Thailand's western border.

OBJECTIVE:

This study aimed to document thiamine status in the peripartum period to examine the current supplementation program and the correlation between the clinical manifestations of thiamine deficiency and a biochemical measure of thiamine status.

DESIGN:

Women were enrolled prospectively at 30 wk of gestation and were followed up weekly until delivery and at 3 mo postpartum. Thiamine supplementation during pregnancy was based on patient symptoms.

RESULTS:

At 3 mo postpartum, thiamine deficiency reflected by an erythrocyte transketolase activity (ETKA) > or = 1.20% was found in 57.7% (15/26) of mothers, 26.9% (7/26) of whom had severe deficiency (ETKA > 1.25%). No significant associations between ETKA and putative maternal symptoms or use of thiamine supplements were found.

CONCLUSIONS:

Biochemical postpartum thiamine deficiency is still common in Karen refugee women. This situation may be improved by educating lactating women to reduce their consumption of thiaminase-containing foods and by implementing an effective thiamine supplementation program.

PMID:
11722964
DOI:
10.1093/ajcn/74.6.808
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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