Serum Vitamin A and Zinc Levels of Some Preschool Children in Sokoto Metropolis of Nigeria
Serum levels of vitamin A (VA) and zinc of sixty-one randomly selected preschool children aged 4 to 60 months from Sokoto in the Northwestern Nigeria were investigated. The serum VA was assayed spectrophotometrically by ultraviolet irradiation method while Zn level was determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). The results obtained were analysed by correlation and regression method. The mean serum VA and Zn were 38.01 ± 18.70 and 73.24 ± 45.62 µg/dl respectively. 13% of the children had marginal VA deficiency. 26% and 9.8% of the children had moderate and severe VA deficiency (VAD) respectively. Of the 61 children studied, 37.7% had severe Zn deficiency (<50µg/dI) while 9.8% had serum Zn level of between 50 and 69 µg/dI. Analysis of the results indicated a significant (p<0.05) positive correlation(r=0.68) between serum VA and Zn levels of children with VAD. The result indicated that 66.7% of the children with VAD showed severe Zn deficiency. Only about 10% of the children with VAD were Zn adequate. The deficiencies of these micronutrients are common in both sexes and all age groups of preschool children of the study area. The results obtained indicated that the deficiencies of these micronutrients are public health problems in Sokoto, Northwestern Nigeria.
Key words: Serum, Vitamin A, Zinc, preschool children, Sokoto-Nigeria