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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 94, Issue 5, pp 386–390 | Cite as

Vitamin A Concentration in Umbilical Cord Blood of Infants from Three Separate Regions of the Province of Québec (Canada)

  • Frédéric Dallaire
  • Eric Dewailly
  • Ramesh Shademani
  • Claire Laliberté
  • Suzanne Bruneau
  • Marc Rhainds
  • Carole Blanchet
  • Michel Lefebvre
  • Pierre Ayotte
Article

Abstract

Background

Inuit women from Northern Québec have been shown to consume inadequate quantities of vitamin A. This study was conducted to evaluate the prevalence of blood vitamin A deficiency in newborns from 3 distinct populations of the province of Québec.

Methods

594 newborns were included in this study (375 Inuit newborns from northern Québec (Nunavik), 107 Caucasian and Native newborns from the Lower Northern Shore of the Saint-Lawrence River (LNS) and 112 newborns from Southern Québec where clinical vitamin A deficiency is uncommon). Mothers were recruited at delivery and vitamin A (retinol) was analyzed from umbilical cord blood samples by reversed-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography.

Results

Nunavik and LNS newborns had significantly lower mean vitamin A concentrations in cord blood compared to Southern Québec participants (15.7 μg/dL, 16.8 μg/dL and 20.4 μg/dL respectively). The differences observed were similar when adjusted for sex and birthweight. Results also showed that 8.5% of Nunavik newborns and 12.2% of LNS newborns were below 10.0 μg/dL, a level thought to be indicative of blood vitamin A deficiency in neonates.

Conclusion

These data suggest that a carefully planned vitamin A supplementation program during pregnancy in Nunavik and LNS might be indicated to promote healthy infant development.

Résumé

Contexte

Il a été démontré que les femmes inuites du Nord du Québec consomment des quantités insuffisantes de vitamine A. Notre étude a été entreprise pour évaluer la prévalence de la carence en vitamine A chez les nouveau-nés de trois populations distinctes de la province de Québec.

Méthodes

L’étude a porté sur 594 nouveau-nés (375 nouveau-nés inuits du Nord du Québec [Nunavik], 107 nouveau-nés caucasiens et autochtones de la Basse-Côte-Nord du Saint-Laurent [BCN] et 112 nouveau-nés du Sud du Québec où la carence en vitamine A est peu fréquente). Les mères ont été recrutées lors de l’accouchement, et la vitamine A (rétinol) a été dosée dans le sang du cordon ombilical par chromatographie liquide à haute pression en phase inversée.

Résultats

Les nouveau-nés du Nunavik et de la BCN avaient une concentration moyenne en vitamine A significativement plus basse que ceux du Sud du Québec (15,7 μg/dL, 16,8 μg/dL et 20,4 μg/dL respectivement). Les différences observées étaient semblables après ajustement selon le sexe de l’enfant et le poids à la naissance. Les résultats ont aussi montré que 8,5 % de nouveau-nés du Nunavik et 12,2 % des nouveau-nés de la BCN avaient une concentration inférieure à 10,0 μg/dL, un niveau que l’on croit être indicatif d’une carence néonatale en vitamine A.

Conclusion

Ces données suggèrent qu’un programme de supplémentation bien planifié en vitamine A visant les femmes enceintes du Nunavik et de la BCN pourrait être nécessaire.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frédéric Dallaire
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eric Dewailly
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ramesh Shademani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Claire Laliberté
    • 1
    • 2
  • Suzanne Bruneau
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marc Rhainds
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carole Blanchet
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michel Lefebvre
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pierre Ayotte
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Public Health Research UnitLaval University Medical Center (CHUL - CHUQ)Sainte-FoyCanada
  2. 2.Laval University QuébecCanada

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