Relationship of serum carotenoids and retinol with anaemia among pre-school children in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam

Nguyen Cong Khan, Phan Van Huan, Nguyen Van Nhien, Le Danh Tuyen, Saskia De Pee, Richard D. Semba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective To characterize the relationship between serum carotenoids, retinol and anaemia among pre-school children.Design A cross-sectional study was conducted in two groups: anaemic and non-anaemic. Serum levels of retinol,-carotene,-carotene,-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin were measured in the study subjects.Setting Six rural communes of Dinh Hoa, a rural and mountainous district in Thai Nguyen Province, in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam.Subjects A total of 682 pre-school children, aged 12-72 months, were recruited.Results Geometric mean serum concentrations of carotenoids (mol/l) were 0056 for-carotene, 0161 for-carotene, 0145 for-cryptoxanthin, 0078 for lycopene, 0388 for lutein and 0075 for zeaxanthin. The mean levels of Hb and serum retinol were 1088 g/l and 102 mol/l, respectively. The prevalence of anaemia and vitamin A deficiency was 537 % and 78 %, respectively. After adjusting for sex and stunting, serum retinol concentrations (mol/l; OR = 206, 95 % CI 110, 386, P = 0024) and total provitamin A carotenoids (mol/l; OR = 152, 95 % CI 101, 228, P = 0046) were independently associated with anaemia, but non-provitamin A carotenoids (mol/l; OR = 093, 95 % CI 063, 137, P = 0710) were not associated with anaemia.Conclusions Among pre-school children in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam, the prevalences of vitamin A deficiency and anaemia are high, and serum retinol and provitamin A carotenoids are independently associated with anaemia. Further studies are needed to determine if increased consumption of provitamin A carotenoids will reduce anaemia among pre-school children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1863-1869
Number of pages7
JournalPublic health nutrition
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Anaemia
  • Hb
  • Non-provitamin A carotenoid
  • Provitamin A carotenoid
  • Retinol
  • Vietnam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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