Gestational Nightblindness among Women Attending a Public Maternity Hospital in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

By Saunders, Claudia; Leal, Maria do Carmo et al. | Journal of Health Population and Nutrition, December 2004 | Go to article overview

Gestational Nightblindness among Women Attending a Public Maternity Hospital in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil


Saunders, Claudia, Leal, Maria do Carmo, Gomes, Mirian Martins, Campos, Luciana Ferreira, Silva, Bianca Amaral dos Santos, de Lima, Ana Paula Pereira Thiapo, Ramalho, Rejane Andrea, Journal of Health Population and Nutrition


INTRODUCTION

The impact of vitamin A deficiency on reproductive health, in terms of its repercussions on maternal and infant health, has been well-documented (1-5). Identification of women at risk of vitamin A deficiency during pregnancy allows for intervention, aimed at improving maternal hepatic vitamin A reserves and preventing insufficient placental transfer to the foetus, as observed in cases of severe maternal deficiency (6,7). The measures currently recommended for the prevention and treatment of gestational vitamin A deficiency and nightblindness are based on supplementation, food enrichment with vitamin A, and alimentary diversification (4,8,9), always considering the ingestion amount safe for each biological moment (10).

To meet the expectations of international health committees and the scientific community, several less-invasive, low-cost indicators have been tested and validated for diagnosing vitamin Adeficiency, which is still a public-health problem in various parts of the world (4,5,8).

Evaluation of nightblindness through a standardized interview has been widely employed by researchers in population-based studies, through a low-cost, simple, culturally-accepted methodology, allowing for the detection of high rates of prevalence of maternal and infant vitamin A deficiency (1-3,11,12).

During the 1930s, Ricketts reported two cases of pregnant women with vitamin A deficiency in the USA, presenting nightblindness associated with vomiting, headache, and anaemia (13). In the 1960s, Dixit reported 38.9% of pregnant women with nightblindness in India, principally in the third trimester, with remission of ocular symptoms during the postpartum period (14). In both the studies, supplementation of vitamin A during pregnancy was followed by remission of symptoms and nightblindness.

Gestational nightblindness was formerly attributed to physiological adjustments in pregnancy (14), but recent studies conducted in Asia have described the association between this ocular symptom and a fivefold risk of maternal mortality during two years postpartum compared to women without gestational nightblindness (2). Increased mortality among infants during the first six months of life also appears to be associated with gestational nightblindness (3). In addition, pregnant women with nightblindness and vitamin Adeficiency appear to be more predisposed to complications during pregnancy, such as spontaneous abortion, urinary, genital and gastrointestinal infections, pregnancy-induced hypertension, other digestive signs and symptoms, and decreased appetite (1,15,16). Hence, gestational nightblindness was recently suggested as a marker for high-risk gestations (17).

The International Vitamin A Consultative Group (IVACG) recommended that the rates of maternal nightblindness should be routinely investigated in nutrition and health surveys, given the associated risk for health and nutritional status (4,18). The IVACG also recommends evaluation of gestational nightblindness in regions, such as Africa and Latin America (18).

Thus, the aim of the present study was to describe the prevalence of gestational nightblindness among postpartum women and to evaluate the association of ocular symptom with a biochemical indicator (serum retinol levels) and with obstetric history, antenatal care, sociodemographic and anthropometric variables.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Study design

The study population comprised postpartum women who had received prenatal care at the University Maternity Hospital of the Federal University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This healthcare facility provides free childbirth care to 1,400-1,500 patients per year from various areas in the city, with characteristics similar to those women treated at other public maternity hospitals in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro State, in the southeast region of Brazil.

During 1999-2001, 262 participants were selected for the study on alternative days in four weekly shifts. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Gestational Nightblindness among Women Attending a Public Maternity Hospital in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.