Prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in school children aged 6-16 years in Taoru Tehsil of South Haryana

Rahul Roy, Aparna Gupta, Monica Chaudhry


Background: Sufficient data on occurrence of ocular morbidities associated with vitamin A deficiency (VAD) amongst school children was not available. Hence this study was aimed to evaluate the prevalence of clinical forms of vitamin A deficit among the primary school children in relation to socio-economical status and BMI associated risks related to VAD.

Methods: A randomized sampling study was designed among school children of 6-16 years of age after taking consent form from principal and teachers of different schools in Taoru Tehsil of South Haryana. A predesigned performa was used to collect the information.  

Results: Total 300 school children were examined for VAD, out of which 157 (52.3%) were boys and 143 (47.7%) were girls. Among the school children 53 (13.7%) students were under the age group of 6-11 years and 247 (86.3%) students were 12-16 years. Prevalence of VAD was observed in17 (5.7%) students, among them1 (0.3%) was associated with night blindness, 1(0.3%) conjunctival xerosis and 14 (5%) with bitots spot. Among 17 VAD suspects 13 (76.5%) were girls and 4 (23.5%) were boys. According to modified Kuppuswamy scale of Socio-economic status 48 (16%) students belongs to class III, 229 (76.33%) students from class IV and 23 (7.66%) students from class V. Out of 17 VAD suspects 2 (11.76%) belongs to class III, 14 (82.35%) belongs to class IV and 1 (5.88%) belongs to class V. Out of 17 VAD suspects all 17 (100%) were underweight.

Conclusions:Socio-economic status and BMI index were closely associated with VAD. Prevention, early recognition, prompt treatment of ocular diseases by regular screening of students and nutritional education in schools would definitely decreases the risk of ocular abnormalities.



Vitamin A deficiency, Socio-economic status, BMI

Full Text:



Sommer A, West KP Jr. Vitamin A deficiency: health, survival, and vision. New York: Oxford University Press; 1996.

Sommer A, Hussaini G, Tarwotjo I, Susanto D. Increased mortality in children with mild vitamin A deficiency. Lancet. 1983;2:585-8.

Dixit DT. Night-blindness in third trimester of pregnancy. Indian J Med Res. 1966;54:791–5.

Sommer A, Tarwotjo I, Djunaedi E, West KP, Loeden AA, Tilden R, et al. Impact of vitamin A supplementation on childhood mortality. A randomized controlled community trial. Lancet. 1986;1:1169-73.

West KP, Pokhrel RP, Katz J, LeClerq SC, Khatry SK, Shrestha SR, et al. Efficacy of vitamin A in reducing preschool child mortality in Nepal. Lancet. 1991;338:67-71.

Rahmathullah L, Underwood BA, Thulasiraj RD, Milton RC, Ramaswamy K, Rahmathullah R, et al. Reduced mortality among children in Southern India receiving a small weekly dose of vitamin A. N Engl J Med. 1990;323:929-35.

Muhilal, Permeisih D, Idjradinata YR, Muherdiyantiningsih, Karyadi D. Vitamin A-fortified monosodium glutamate and health, growth, and survival of children: a controlled field trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 1988;48:1271-6.

Beaton GH, Martorell R, L'Abbe KA, Edmonston B, McGabe G, Ross AC, et al. Effectiveness of vitamin A supplementation in the control of young child morbidity and mortality in developing countries. Final Report to CIDA. Toronto, Ontario: University of Toronto, 1992.

McLaren DS, Frigg M. Sight and life manual on Vitamin A deficiency disorders (VADD), first edition. Basel: Task Force Sight and Life; 1997.

Gupta M, Gupta BP, Chauhan A, Bhardwaj A. Ocular morbidity prevalence among school children in Shimla, Himachal, North India. Community eye care. 2009;57(2):133-8.

Vision screening in school children. Training module. Danish Assistance to the National Programme for Control of Blindness. New Delhi, India: 1.

Sachdeva S, Alam S, Beig FK, Khan Z, Khalique N. Determinants of Vitamin A Deficiency amongst Children in Aligarh District, Uttar Pradesh. Indian Pediatrics. 2011;48:861-6.

Khurana AK, Sikka KL, Parmar IPS, Aggarwal SK. Ocular morbidity among school children in Rohtak city. Indian J Public Health. 1984;28:217-20.

Chauhan NT, Trivedi AV, Khan IM, Talsania NJ. Prevalence of clinical vitamin A deficiency among primary school children in urban slums of Ahmedabad: a cross sectional study. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic research. 2011;5(8):1627-30.

Bhattacharya RN, Shrivastava P, Sadhukhan SK, Lahiri SK, Chakravorty M, Saha JB. A study on visual acuity and Vitamin A deficiency among primary school students in Naxalbari village, Darjeeling district of West Bengal. Indian Journal of Public Health. 2004;48(4):171-80.

Pal R. Vitamin a deficiency in Indian rural preschool-aged children. Ann Trop Med Public Health. 2009;2:11-4.

Ahmed F, Rahman A, Noor AN, Akhtaruzzaman M, Hughes R. Anaemia and vitamin A status among adolescent school boys. Public Health Nutr. 2006;9:345-50.

WHO Technical Report Series No. 672. Control of Vitamin A Deficiency and Xerophthalmia Report of a Joint WHO/UNICEF/USAID/Hellen Keller International/IVACG Meeting. WHO TRS, 1982: 13.