Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Information System (VMNIS)

Prevalence of serum retinol <0.70 µmol/l and number of individuals affected among preschool-age children and pregnant women in populations of countries at risk of vitamin A deficiency 1995-2005, globally and by WHO region

The estimates show that the Africa and South-East Asia regions contain the highest proportions of preschool-age children with biochemical VAD, as indicated by a serum retinol concentration <0.70 µmol/l, with South-East Asia having the greatest number of children and pregnant women affected.


WHO region Preschool-age childrena Pregnant women
Prevalenceb (%) Number affected (millions) Prevalence (%) Number affected (millions)
Africa 44.4
(41.3-47.5)c
56.4
(52.4-60.3)
13.5
(8.9-18.2)
4.18
(2.73-5.63)
Americas 15.6
(6.6-24.5)
8.68
(3.70-13.7)
2
(0.4-3.6)
0.23
(0.04-0.41)
South-East Asia 49.9
(45.1-54.8)
91.5
(82.6-100)
17.3
(0.0-36.2)
6.69
(0.00-14.0)
Europe 19.7
(9.7-29.6)
5.81
(2.87-8.75)
11.6
(2.6-20.6)
0.72
(0.16-1.29)
Eastern Mediterranean 20.4
(13.2-27.6)
13.2
(8.54-17.9)
16.1
(9.2-23.1)
2.42
(1.38-3.47)
Western Pacific 12.9
(12.3-13.5)
14.3
(13.6-14.9)
21.5
(0.0-49.2)
4.9
(1.00-11.2)
Global 33.3
(31.3-35.4)
190
(178-202)
15.3
(7.4-23.2)
19.1
(9.30-29.0)

a Population subgroups: Preschool-age children (<5 years); Pregnant women (no age range defined).
b Numerator and denominator excludes countries with a 2005 GDP ≥US$ 15 000.
c 95% Confidence Intervals.

Source

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.

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