Mortality of infants <6 mo of age supplemented with vitamin A: A randomized, double-masked trial in Nepal

Keith P. West, Joanne Katz, Sharada Ram Shrestha, Steven C. LeClerq, Subarna Khatry, Elizabeth K. Pradhan, Ramesh Adhikari, Lee Shu Fune Wu, Ram Prasad Pokhrel, Alfred Sommer, B. D. Chataut, M. R. Pandey, D. Calder, J. Gmunder, J. Humphrey, James M Tielsch, H. Taylor, D. Piet, J. Canner, N. N. AchariyaD. N. Mandal, T. R. Sakya, B. B. Shrestha, R. K. Shrestha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


The effect of supplementing 11 918 infants < 1 mo and 1-5 mo of age with vitamin A (15 000 and 30 000 μg retinol equivalents or 50 000 and 100 000 IU, respectively) or a placebo on subsequent 4-mo mortality was assessed in a randomized, double-masked community trial in the rural plains of Nepal. There were 130 deaths (51.6/1000 child-y) in the control group and 150 deaths (57.1/1000 child-y) in the vitamin A group, yielding a relative risk of 1.11 (95% CI: 0.86, 1.42), which is indicative of no overall effect on early infant mortality. There was a tendency for the relative risk of mortality among vitamin A recipients to rise with improved nutritional status. These results suggest that distribution of a large oral dose of vitamin A to infants < 5-6 mo of age may not benefit short-term survival. This is in contrast with the results of trials in which older infants and children in this same population were supplemented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-148
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1995


  • Vitamin A
  • infant mortality
  • intolerance
  • supplementation
  • verbal autopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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