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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 570170, 9 pages
Research Article

The Effect of 50 000 IU Vitamin A with BCG Vaccine at Birth on Growth in the First Year of Life

1Bandim Health Project, Indepth Network, Apartado 861, 1004 Bissau, Guinea-Bissau
2Bandim Health Project, Statens Serum Institut, Ørestads Boulevard 5, 2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark
3Department of Biostatistics, Institute of Public Health, University of Århus, Bartholins Alle 2, 8000 Århus C, Denmark

Received 23 March 2011; Revised 2 July 2011; Accepted 6 July 2011

Academic Editor: Sabra Klein

Copyright © 2011 Ane Bærent Fisker et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vitamin A supplements may interact with diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine causing increased female mortality. In a randomised trial of neonatal vitamin A supplementation (VAS), we examined growth during the first year of life in 808 children, pursuing the hypothesis that a negative interaction between VAS and DTP in girls would be reflected in growth. Length and weight were measured at 6 weekly visits and WHO-growth-reference z-scores derived. Neonatal VAS had no effect on anthropometric measures at 12 months, but may interact sex differentially with routine vaccines. While BCG was the most recent vaccine, neonatal VAS benefitted growth (difference in weight-for-length z-score (dWFL: 0.31(95% CI: 0.03–0.59)). While DTP was the most recent vaccine, VAS tended to affect growth adversely in girls (dWFL = −0.21 (−0.48–0.06)). After measles vaccine (MV) there was no overall effect of neonatal VAS. The VAS effect differed significantly between the BCG and DTP windows ( ), and the difference was borderline significant between the DTP and MV windows for girls ( ).