A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial of high-dose vitamin A supplements in children hospitalized with pneumonia in Lima, Peru

C. B. Stephensen, L. M. Franchi, H. Hernandez, M. Campos, R. H. Gilman, J. O. Alvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The goal of this study was to determine if vitamin A supplementation decreased the duration or severity of pneumonia. Children from 3 mo to 10 yr of age without underlying metabolic disease, tuberculosis or asthma were eligible. Forty-seven children were randomized to the vitamin A group and 48 to the placebo group. Subjects ≥ 1 yr received 200,000 IU of water-miscible retinol on admission and 100,000 IU the next day. Subjects < 1 yr received half this dose. Analysis of clinical variables during hospitalization by multivariate ANOVA and logistic regression revealed that oxygen saturation was lower in the vitamin A group (p = 0.003) while respiratory rate (p < 0.001), heart rate (p = 0.003), use of supplemental oxygen (p < 0.001) and an aggregate severity score (p < 0.001) were higher. Duration of hospitalization was not affected. When adjustments were made for severity of disease and weight-for-height on admission, duration of disease before admission, and clinical diagnosis of viral vs. bacterial pneumonia, oxygen saturation was again lower in the vitamin A group (p = 0.028) and the use of supplemental oxygen greater (p = 0.0008). High-dose vitamin A supplements are thus not recommended for children recovering from pneumonia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFASEB Journal
Volume11
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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    Stephensen, C. B., Franchi, L. M., Hernandez, H., Campos, M., Gilman, R. H., & Alvarez, J. O. (1997). A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial of high-dose vitamin A supplements in children hospitalized with pneumonia in Lima, Peru. FASEB Journal, 11(3).