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COMPARATIVE STUDY OF VITAMIN A AND ANTHROPOMETRIC STATUS OF CHILDREN AGED 6-24 MONTHS IN URBAN AND RURAL COMMUNITIES IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA.
This investigation centered on Vitamin A and anthropomet r ic status of 400 children aged 6-24 months in urban and rural communi t ies in Kaduna South
local government area, Nigeria. Select ion of chi ldren was through systemat ic
sampl ing technique. Two hundred children from each communi ty, ninety four
males (94) and one hundred and six (106) females from Makera (urban) and
ninety three males (93) and one hundred and seven (107) females from
Kinkinau ( rural) communi t ies completed the study. A st ructured quest ionnaire
was used to collect informat ion on maternal socioeconomic characteristics,
l iving condi t ions, heal th care, and 24-hour dietary recal l . Knowledge,
at t i tude and pract ice of heal thy l ife style and Vi tamin A supplementation
were assessed using focus group discussion. The anthropometric status of the
children were measured longi tudinal ly for 6 months wi th wooden length
board, and UNICEF weighing scale. Serum ret inol levels of a subsample of
100 subjects were determined. Blood samples were col lected by venipuncture
to obtain serum for measurement of retinol concentrat ion using high
performance l iquid chromatography.
The data was analyzed using
anthropomet ric z scores and categorized using WHO Anthro sof tware (2007).
Comparison was done using Chi square test for categorical variables and
ANOVA and t-test for cont inuous variables. Al l statistical analysis were done
using SPSS version 15 and signif icance judged at presul t , stunt ing (49.8%) was the major nutri t ional problem ident if ied in most
of the chi ldren. However, 14.1% and 7.5% were underweight and wasted,
respect ively. The composi te index of anthropomet ric fai lure (CIAF) counted
for a total of 55.3% of the chi ldren that had anthropometric fai lures.
However, 70.0 % (weight -for -length), 46.5 % (length-for-age) and 83.5 %
(weight-for-age) fell wi thin the normal region in al l anthropometr ic
indicators. The prevalence of overweight and obesi ty (combined) was high in
the rural (37%) as against 8.0% in the urban locat ion. A total of 84.5% of the
urban chi ldren had normal weight-for- length compared to 55.5% of the rural
children. Locat ion signif icant ly (p<0.05) influenced weight-for -age status.
However, the percentage of chi ldren wasted in both locat ions was simi lar
(7.5%). Urban chi ldren had higher (55.0%) length-for -age value than the rural
(46.5%) children. Stunt ing was more prevalent in the rural (49.8%) than in
the urban (42.0%) areas. There was st rong associat ion between locat ion and
length-for -age status (p<0.05). The rural chi ldren had higher weight -for-age
percentage (85.0%) than the urban (82.0%) chi ldren. Underweight was more
prevalent in the urban (16.0%) than in the rural (12.0%). However , locat ion
had no ef fect (p>0.05) on the weight -for-age status. Age had no relat ionship
wi th underweight , stunt ing and wast ing in the locat ions and gender. However,
age group (6-10 months ) inf luenced (p<0.05%) the prevalence of overweight
only in rural females. The growth veloci t ies fluctuated wi thin the study
period. The weight veloci ties of the male subjects were higher (p<0.05) than
those of the females whi le length veloci t ies of the females were higher
(p<0.05) than those of the males. The weight veloci t ies of the rural chi ldren
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