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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634


CASANUEVA, Esther et al. Serum retinol in urban Mexican women during the perinatal period. Salud pública Méx [online]. 1999, vol.41, n.4, pp.317-321. ISSN 0036-3634.

OBJECTIVE. To establish the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency during pregnancy and lactation in a group of urban Mexican women. MATERIAL AND METHODS. A group of pregnant women who attended a prenatal care program were invited to participate. Subjects had no added pathologies and were less than 20 weeks pregnant. Evaluations were performed 3 times during pregnancy until 24 weeks post-partum. Vitamin A levels were determined in serum by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The cut-off point to consider retinol deficiency was < 1.05 µmol/L. RESULTS. During the 3 gestational evaluations, vitamin A levels were 2.34±0.70, 2.41±1.03 and 1.86±0.66 µmol/L, respectively, which shows a significant decrease. However, only 1/30 was situated below the accepted cut-off point to consider risk of deficiency, and none for deficiency. During post-partum , concentrations remained relatively constant, approximately 2.10 µmol/L. Lactation had no impact on serum retinol levels, while weight loss did. CONCLUSIONS. No cases of vitamin A deficiency were found in the studied population during the perinatal period. Maternal weight loss affects post-partum retinol levels.

Keywords : vitamin A; pregnancy; breast feeding; nutrition; Mexico.

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