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Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences

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Consumption of vitamin a rich foods and dark adaptation threshold of pregnant women at Damot Sore District, Wolayita, southern Ethiopia

H Abebe, Y Abebe, E Loha, BJ Stoecker

Abstract


BACKGROUND: More than 7.2 million pregnant women in developing countries suffer from vitamin A deficiency. The objective of this study was to assess dark adaptation threshold of pregnant women and related socio-demographic factors in Damot Sore District, Wolayita Zone, Southern Ethiopia.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study design was employed to collect data from 104 pregnant women selected by a two stage cluster sampling. A Dietary Diversity Score was calculated by counting the number of food groups consumed by the women in 24 hour period prior to the study. Scotopic Sensitivity Tester-1 was used to test participant’s pupillary response to graded amounts of light in a dark tent.

RESULTS: Half of the pregnant women in this study had dietary diversity score less than three. The majority of participants (87.5%) had consumed either animal or plant source vitamin A rich foods less than three times a week. For a unit increase in individual dietary diversity score, there was a decrease in dark adaptation measurement by 0.29 log cd/m2 (p=0.001). For a unit increase in gestational week of pregnancy, there was an increase in dark adaptation measurement by 0.19 log cd/m2 (P=0.027). CONCLUSIONS: Results from this study indicated that the pregnant women had low consumption of vitamin A rich foods, and their dark adaptation threshold increases with gestational age indicating that their vitamin A status is getting worse. There is a need to design appropriate intervention and target this group of population.

KEYWORDS: Vitamin A deficiency, pregnant women, dark adaptation threshold, Southern Ethiopia




http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ejhs.v24i3.5
AJOL African Journals Online