Volume 83, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



A cross-sectional study was carried out on 241 primary schoolchildren in Pahang, Malaysia to update their vitamin A status and to investigate the association of poor vitamin A status with their health and socioeconomic factors. All children were screened for intestinal parasitic infections. Blood samples were collected and vitamin A status was assessed. Socioeconomic data were collected by using pre-tested questionnaires. The results showed that 66 (27.4%) children had low serum retinol levels (< 0.70 μmol/L). Giardiasis and severe ascariasis were significantly associated with low serum retinol levels ( = 0.004 and = 0.018, respectively). Logistic regression confirmed the significant association of giardiasis with low serum retinol (odds ratio = 2.7, 95% confidence interval = 1.3–5.5). In conclusion, vitamin A deficiency is still a public health problem in rural Malaysia. Vitamin A supplementation and treatment of intestinal parasitic infections should be distributed periodically to these children to improve their health and nutritional status.


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  • Received : 30 Jun 2009
  • Accepted : 12 Apr 2010
  • Published online : 07 Sep 2010

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