Prevalence and Correlates of Prenatal Vitamin A Deficiency in Rural Sidama, Southern Ethiopia


  • Samson Gebremedhin Gebreselassie School of Public and Environmental Health, Hawassa University, PO Box 12485, Addis Ababa,
  • Fikre Enquselassie Gase School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University,
  • Melaku Umeta Deressa School of Medicine, Addis Ababa University,



Maternal nutrition, Nutritional surveys, Serum retinol, Vitamin A deficiency, Ethiopia


A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the prevalence and correlates of prenatal vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in rural Sidama, Southern Ethiopia. Seven hundred randomly-selected pregnant women took part in the study. Serum retinol concentration was determined using high-performance liquid chromatography. Data were analyzed by logistic and linear regression. Interpretation of data was made using adjusted odds ratio (AOR) and adjusted linear regression coefficient. The prevalence of VAD (serum retinol <0.7 ?mol/L) was 37.9%. Advanced gestational age and elevated C-reactive protein (CRP ?5 mg/dL) were negatively associated with retinol concentration (p<0.05). The odds of VAD was significantly higher among the women with no education and those devoid of self-income. Women aged 35-49 years had 2.23 (95% CI 1.31-3.81) times higher odds compared to those aged 15-24 years. The lower the dietary diversity score in the preceding day of the survey, the higher were the odds of VAD. With reference to nulliparas, grand multiparas had 1.92 (95% CI 1.02-3.64) times increased odds of VAD. VAD and zinc deficiency (serum zinc <8.6 ?mol/L during the first trimester, or <7.6 ?mol/L during the second or third trimester) were significantly associated with AOR of 1.80 (95% CI 1.28-2.53). VAD has major public-health significance in the area. Accordingly, it should be combated through enhancement of diet diversity, birth control, and socioeconomic empowerment of women.

J HEALTH POPUL NUTR 2013 Jun; 31(2): 185-194



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How to Cite

Gebreselassie, S. G., Gase, F. E., & Deressa, M. U. (2013). Prevalence and Correlates of Prenatal Vitamin A Deficiency in Rural Sidama, Southern Ethiopia. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 31(2), 185–194.



Original Papers