Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
Print version ISSN 1415-790X
ASSIS, Ana Marlúcia O. and BARRETO, Mauricio Lima. Vitamin A supplementation: impact on morbidity and adverse effects. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2002, vol.5, n.1, pp. 84-92. ISSN 1415-790X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2002000100010.
This paper is a synthesis of two previously published studies, which evaluated different aspects of the effects of massive doses of vitamin A (100,000 or 200,000 IU) in pre-school children. The first consisted of a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled community trial, which demonstrated the effect of supplementation on the reduction of the severity of episodes of diarrhea. The second investigated the potential adverse effects of supplementation with massive doses of vitamin A when given during mass vaccination, using a controlled but not randomized intervention design. The results of this study showed that supplementation did not increase the rates of adverse effects (diarrhea, fever and vomiting) associated with the vaccines routinely used in infancy. In conclusion, we discuss the implications of the results of these studies, which contributed not only towards the advance of scientific knowledge in the field in question but also provided evidence to justify the implementation of policies and specific actions in the field of health and nutrition which have contributed towards creating better conditions for infant survival. We also discuss the pertinence and usefulness of study designs with different levels of methodological robustness in evaluations in health.
Keywords : Intervention studies; Vitamin A supplementation; Pre-school children; Evaluation of programs; Public policy planning.