Night blindness is prevalent during pregnancy and lactation in rural Nepal

J. Katz, S. K. Khatry, K. P. West, J. H. Humphrey, S. C. Leclerq, E. K. Pradhan, P. R. Pohkrel, A. Sommer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


The prevalence of night blindness during pregnancy and lactation was assessed in a sample of 426 women living in the rural teral of Nepal. These women were also examined for ocular signs or vitamin A deficiency. Among 241 lactating women, 16.2% reported experiencing night blindness at some time during the pregnancy that produced the infant they were now breast-feeding. Among 185 pregnant women, 8.1% reported being night-blind at the time of the interview. The odds of night blindness in the current pregnancy were six times greater for women who reported night blindness in their previous pregnancy. Night-blind women were more likely to come from households with lower socioeconomic status. Teenage women and those over the age of 30 were at highest risk, particularly those of higher parity within these age groups. Vitamin A deficiency, for which night blindness is a marker, seems to be a problem in this population of pregnant and lactating women, with potential health consequences for women and their infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2122-2127
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1995


  • humans
  • lactation
  • night blindness
  • pregnancy
  • xerophthalmia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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