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World Governments Urged To Implement Vitamin A Programs For Young Children

August 25, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
After a meta-analysis of the results of 43 clinical trials involving 200,000 young children, British and Pakistani researchers are urging policymakers to provide vitamin A supplementation to children in low and middle income countries to prevent death and illness from conditions such as diarrhea and measles. Their analysis found vitamin A supplements reduced child mortality by 24 percent in low and middle income countries. These findings, they say, show that the benefits of vitamin A supplementation are conclusive, and further testing would be unethical. According to the authors, if the mortality risk for 190 million vitamin A deficient children were reduced by 24 percent, more than 600,000 lives would be saved each year.
E. Mayo-Wilson, et al., "Vitamin A supplements for preventing mortality, illness, and blindness in children aged under 5: systematic review and meta-analysis", British Medical Journal, August 25, 2011, © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. (Open Access)
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