Malaria is associated with reduced serum retinol levels in rural Zambian
Hautvast JL; Tolboom JJ; West CE; Kafwembe EM; Sauerwein RW; van Staveren
Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1998;68(6):384-8
Vitamin A deficiency increases
the risk of illness, while infections impair vitamin A status. Malaria
is highly prevalent in rural Zambia. We describe the relationship between
malaria and vitamin A status. We examined dietary vitamin A intake, malaria
parasitaemia and serum concentrations of retinol, C-reactive protein (CRP)
and alpha 1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) in 210 children under the age of 2.
Vitamin A intake was low. Serum retinol was negatively correlated with
malaria parasite count and to serum levels of CRP and AGP. Increased malaria
parasite density resulted in raised CRP and AGP levels, which were negatively
associated with serum retinol. We conclude that improvement of dietary
vitamin A intake and prevention of infectious diseases, especially malaria,
could alleviate vitamin A deficiency in this population.