The night vision threshold test is a better predictor of low serum vitamin A concentration than self-reported night blindness in pregnant urban Nepalese women

Douglas L. Taren, Burris Duncan, Kamal Shrestha, Narayani Shrestha, Denise Genaro-Wolf, Rosemary L. Schleicher, Christine M. Pfeiffer, Anne L. Sowell, John Greivenkamp, Louise Canfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study was conducted to validate the night vision threshold test (NVTT) as an indicator of night blindness. A total of 1401 pregnant women from the National Maternity Hospital participated in this study. Women were queried about night blindness and took the NVTT using standardized procedures after 10 min of dark adaptation. Sixteen percent failed the NVTT, but only 6.4% reported having night blindness. Blood samples from women who failed the NVTT (cases) and matched controls indicated the serum vitamin A (SVA) concentration was lower (P < 0.05) in cases (1.19 ± 0.03 μmol/L) than in controls (1.29 ± 0.03 μmol/L). The SVA concentrations did not differ between women who ; reported and did not report night blindness. The SVA concentration was correlated (r = 0.22, P < 0.001) with the NVTT scores. Twenty-five percent of women with an SVA < 0.35 μmol/L reported night blindness while 100% failed the NVTT. ; Nineteen percent of women with an SVA < 0.70 μmol/L reported night blindness while 73% failed the NVTT. A receiver operating characteristics analysis indicated that the NVTT had greater sensitivity (0.73 vs. 0.19) and less specificity (0.51 vs. 0.87) compared with reported night blindness for women with SVA < 0.70 μmol/L and greater sensitivity (100.0 vs. 0.73) and similar specificity (0.51 vs. 0.50) for women with SVA < 0.35 μmol/L The NVTT identified women with low SVA and self-reported night blindness was misleading. We provide a preliminary algorithm to predict the population of women with low SVA concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2573-2578
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume134
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2004

Keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • Night blindness
  • Pregnancy
  • Vitamin A
  • Xerophthalmia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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