Global prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in populations at risk 1995-2005

WHO Global Database on Vitamin A Deficiency


World Health Organization

Publication details

Number of pages: 55
Publication date: 2009
Languages: English
ISBN: 978 92 4 159801 9



In 1987, WHO estimated that vitamin A deficiency was endemic in 39 countries based on the ocular manifestations of xerophthalmia or deficient serum (plasma) retinol concentrations (<0.35 µmol/l). In 1995, WHO updated these estimates and reported that vitamin A deficiency was of public health significance in 60 countries, and was likely to be a problem in an additional 13 countries. The current estimates reflect the time period between 1995 and 2005, and indicate that 45 and 122 countries have vitamin A deficiency of public health significance based on the prevalence of night blindness and biochemical vitamin A deficiency (serum retinol concentration <0.70 µmol/l), respectively, in preschool-age children.