Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Information System (VMNIS)

Global prevalence of serum retinol concentrations <0.70 µmol/l and number of individuals affected in populations of countries at risk of vitamin A deficiency 1995-2005

Low serum retinol concentration (<0.70 µmol/l) affects an estimated 190 million preschool-age children (95% CI: 178-202 million) and 19.1 million pregnant women (95% CI: 9.30-29.0 million) globally. This corresponds to 33.3% of the preschool-age population and 15.3% of pregnant women in populations at risk of VAD, globally.

Population groupa Prevalence of serum retinol <0.70 µmol/l Population affected
Percentb 95% CI Number
95% CI
Preschool-age children 33.3 31.1-35.4 190 178-202
Pregnant women 15.3 7.4-23.2 19.1 9.30-29

a Population subgroups: Preschool-age children (<5 years); Pregnant women (no age range defined).
b Numerator and denominator exclude countries with a 2005 GDP ≥US$ 15 000.


WHO. Global prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in populations at risk 1995–2005. WHO Global Database on Vitamin A Deficiency. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2009.