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Age Ageing. 1992 Nov;21(6):435-9.

Impact of vitamin A supplementation on the incidence of infection in elderly nursing-home residents: a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Johns Hopkins Geriatrics Centre, Baltimore, Maryland.


The aim of this study was to determine if vitamin A supplementation reduces the incidence of bacterial infections among elderly nursing-home residents. One hundred and nine patients were enrolled into a double-masked, placebo-controlled trial at an academically affiliated nursing home. Fifty-six patients received a single capsule containing 1,000 IU of vitamin A (placebo) and 53 received a single capsule containing 200,000 IU of vitamin A. Antibiotic-treated infections were enumerated for 90 days after dosing and infection rates were expressed per 1000 days of follow-up. There were 42 antibiotic-treated infections altogether, 21 in each group. The infection rates in the vitamin A and placebo groups were 4.7 and 4.3 per 1,000 days of follow-up, respectively (relative risk 1.1; 95% CI 0.6, 2.0). The findings of this study do not support a role for vitamin A supplements for the prevention of infections among frail elderly nursing-home patients.

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