Maternal postpartum vitamin A supplementation for the prevention of mortality and morbidity in infancy

Added March 13, 2018

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There is no evidence of a mortality or morbidity benefit to the infant following postpartum maternal VAS. Only prevention of infant morbidity or mortality would be sufficient justification for initiating this intervention in public health programs.

Vitamin A deficiency in developing countries may contribute to infant mortality and morbidity. This review aimed to evaluate the effects of postpartum vitamin A supplementation (VAS) on adverse outcomes in infants. Seven randomized or quazi-randomized trials were included for meta-analysis. Results found no evidence of reduced risk of infant mortality. Data for neonatal outcomes was only available from one trial. Two trials showed no evidence of reduced risk of cause-specific mortality with VAS. One trial showed no evidence of a decrease in diarrhea, nor acute respiratory infection. A lack of evidence was identified in this area, suggesting the need for further research in order to draw definitive conclusions on the effects of postpartum VAS.