Effect on Infant Illness of Maternal Supplementation With 400000 IU Vs 200000 IU of Vitamin A

Pediatrics, 04/12/2012

Dos Santos Fernandes TF et al. – These findings suggest that postpartum maternal supplementation with 400000 IU of vitamin A does not provide any additional benefits in the reduction of illness in children aged <6 months; therefore, they do not support the proposal to increase the standard vitamin A dose in the existing WHO protocol.


  • This was a randomized controlled, triple-blinded clinical trial conducted at 2 public maternity hospitals in Recife in northeastern Brazil.
  • There were 276 mother–child pairs that were allocated to 2 treatment groups: 400000 IU or 200000 IU of vitamin A.
  • They were followed up for >6 months to evaluate infant morbidity.


  • Fever (rate ratio [RR]: 0.92 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.75–1.14]), diarrhea (RR: 0.96 [95% CI: 0.72–1.28]), otitis (RR: 0.94 [95% CI: 0.48–1.85]), acute respiratory infection (RR: 1.03 [95% CI: 0.88–1.21]), the need for intravenous rehydration (RR: 2.08 [95% CI: 0.64–2.07]), and the use of antibiotic treatment (RR: 0.80 [95% CI: 0.43–1.47]) did not differ significantly between the 2 treatment groups.

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