Low serum vitamin A is prevalent in underfive children with severe malaria and is associated with increased risk of death

  • Olubunmi Adeola Lawal Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
  • Samuel Ademola Adegoke Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria
  • Saheed Babatunde Oseni Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria
  • Oyeku A. Oyelami
Keywords: Nigeria, severe malaria, under-five children, vitamin A

Abstract

Introduction: Micronutrient deficiencies are prevalent in developing countries and may influence vulnerability to diseases particularly malaria and its severity. This study investigated serum vitamin A profile of under-five children with severe malaria (SM) in South-western, Nigeria and to determine its association with degree of malaria parasitaemia, types of SM and eventual outcome.

Methodology: Using HPLC, serum vitamin A concentrations of 170 under-five children with SM and 170 age- and gender-matched controls were determined. Parasite species identification and density were also determined. Association between serum vitamin A levels and the degree of parasitaemia, type of SM and patients’ outcome were examined by both bivariate and logistic regression analyses.

Results: Thirty-five (20.6%) of the children with SM compared with 3 (1.8%) of the controls had hypovitaminosis A, p <0.001, OR = 14.4, 95% Confidence Interval = 4.4 – 47.8. The mean serum vitamin A concentration was also lower in the patients (45.23µg/dL vs. 87.28µg/dL; p <0.001). There was inverse correlation between serum vitamin A levels and malaria parasite density (r = - 0.103, p = 0.027). Higher proportions of children with SM and hypovitaminosis A presented with metabolic acidosis and cerebral malaria (p <0.001 and 0.032 respectively). Children with SM and hypovitaminosis A were 9.1 times more likely to die compared to those without low serum vitamin A levels, OR = 9.1, 95% Confidence Interval = 2.2–38.1, p = 0.002.

Conclusion: Children with SM had reduced serum vitamin A and significantly contributed to increased morbidity and mortality.

Published
2018-05-31
How to Cite
1.
Lawal O, Adegoke S, Oseni S, Oyelami O (2018) Low serum vitamin A is prevalent in underfive children with severe malaria and is associated with increased risk of death. J Infect Dev Ctries 12:365-372. doi: https://doi.org/10.3855/jidc.9572
Section
Original Articles