Author(s): Nascimento AL, Diniz Ada S, Arruda Ik
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Abstract Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a major nutritional problem in many developing countries. However, the extent of the problem among elderly people has not been well established. The current study aimed at identifying the prevalence of VAD among elderly people attending the Family Health Programme (FHP) in the city of Camaragibe, PE, Northeast Brazil. Following a systematic sampling procedure, a cross-sectional study was carried out involving 315 subjects = 60 years, of both sexes, in 2003. VAD was assessed by serum retinol levels and vitamin A-rich-food intake by a food frequency method. The prevalence of VAD (Serum ret. < 1.05 microMol/L) was 26.1\% (95\% CI 21.2 - 31.6) and the frequency of animal and vegetal origin vitamin A-rich foods intake = 3x/week was 46.1\% (IC95\% 40.7 - 52.0) and 63.2\% (IC95\% 57.5 - 69.5), respectively. Serum retinol levels were not correlated to sex (p = 0.54) and age (p = 0.34) distribution. In the same way, serum retinol was not related to vitamin A rich-food intake (p > 0.05). VAD seems to be very prevalent among elderly people attending the HFP in Camaragibe. Concerted actions to prevent and control VAD are strongly recommended in this ecological context.
This article was published in Arch Latinoam Nutr
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research