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Vitamin A Deficiency Deaths

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Vitamin A deficiency is a major cause of blindness in the tropics. The first effect of vitamin A deficiency is difficulty seeing in the dark (night blindness), but persistent severe deficiency, especially in malnourished children, causes a lack of tears, the eyes then become infected and then ulcerated. The sufferer can eventually become blind. Vitamin A is in all animal livers and in many milk products. Carotenes, in carrots and other yellow and green leafy vegetables, is converted to vitamin A in the body. Babies weaned early onto vitamin A deficient milk products, and toddlers whose diet is deficient in vegetables are at risk. Fish liver oil (cod and halibut) can be used to prevent vitamin A deficiency. However excessive amounts of vitamin A can be harmful.

Vitamin A deficiency caused 0.040% of all deaths worldwide in 2002, an average of 4 deaths per million people per year.

International Classification of Diseases-10 codes: E50,

Territories are sized in proportion to the absolute number of people who died from vitamin a deficiency in one year.


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