Proxy markers of serum retinol concentration, used alone and in combination, to assess population vitamin A status in Kenyan children: a cross-sectional study

E.F. Talsma*, H. Verhoef, I.D. Brouwer, A.S. Mburu-de Wagt, P.J.M. Hulshof, A. Boonstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Serum retinol concentration determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is recommended by the World Health Organization to assess population vitamin A status. This assay is expensive, technically demanding and rarely available in developing countries. Our objective was a) to assess the diagnostic performance of proxy markers in detecting vitamin A deficiency and b) to derive decision rules based on these markers to estimate vitamin A deficiency prevalence. Methods A survey was conducted in 15 rural primary schools in Eastern Province, Kenya, with 375 children aged 6 to 12 years (25 randomly selected per school). Serum retinol concentration ¿0.496} yielded prevalence estimates of vitamin A deficiency that is unbiased by diagnostic error. Conclusions The combination of transthyretin, RBP and C-reactive protein concentrations could eventually replace retinol concentration by HPLC in resource-poor settings as the preferred method to assess the population burden of vitamin A deficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Article number30
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Medicine
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • binding-protein
  • transthyretin
  • deficiency
  • indicators

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