Effect of vitamin A supplementation on cause-specific mortality in women of reproductive age in Ghana: a secondary analysis from the ObaapaVitA trial

Lisa Hurt, Augustinus ten Asbroek, Seeba Amenga-Etego, Charles Zandoh, Samuel Danso, Karen Edmond, Chris Hurt, Charlotte Tawiah, Zelee Hill, Justin Fenty, Seth Owusu-Agyei, Oona M Campbell, Betty R Kirkwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of weekly low-dose vitamin A supplementation on cause-specific mortality in women of reproductive age in Ghana.

METHODS: A cluster-randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in seven districts of the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana. Women aged 15-45 years who were capable of giving informed consent and intended to live in the trial area for at least 3 months were enrolled and randomly assigned, according to their cluster of residence, to receive oral vitamin A (7500 μg) or placebo once a week. Randomization was blocked, with two clusters in each fieldwork area allocated to vitamin A and two to placebo. Every 4 weeks, fieldworkers distributed capsules and collected data during home visits. Verbal autopsies were conducted by field supervisors and reviewed by physicians, who assigned a cause of death. Cause-specific mortality rates in both arms were compared by means of random-effects Poisson regression models to allow for the cluster randomization. Analysis was by intention-to-treat, based on cluster of residence, with women eligible for inclusion once they had consistently received the supplement or placebo capsules for 6 months.

FINDINGS: The analysis was based on 581 870 woman-years and 2624 deaths. Cause-specific mortality rates were found to be similar in the two study arms.

CONCLUSION: Low-dose vitamin A supplements administered weekly are of no benefit in programmes to reduce mortality in women of childbearing age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-27
Number of pages9
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization
Volume91
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cause of Death
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Ghana
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamins
  • Young Adult

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