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Table 1: Characteristics of randomised controlled trials of vitamin A compared with placebo treatment for measles

Author (Year)

Country

Study subjects

Hospital/

community

Age group

Dose

Formulation

Deaths

Final Quality Scoring

Mortality reduction

Barclay21 (1982-83)

Tanzania

Vitamin A=88

Placebo=92

Hospital

Mean age 30 months

<9 to =60 months

200,000 1year on day 1 and 2

Oil-based

Vitamin A=6

Placebo=12

R, I, X

Total=3

47% reduction

Hussey22 1987

South Africa, Cape Town

Vitamin A=92

Placebo=97

Hospital

Less than 13 years of age

200,000 1year on day 1 and 2

Water-miscible

Vitamin A=2

Placebo=10

R, B, I, X

Total=4

79% reduction

Coutsoudis23 (1989)

South Africa,

Durban

Vitamin A=29

Placebo=31

Hospital

4 to 24 months 

200,000 1year on day 1,2, 8 and 42

Water-miscible

Vitamin A=0

Placebo=1

R, B, I, X, Y

Total=5

64% reduction

Ogaro13 (1989)

Kenya, Nairobi

Vitamin A=146

Placebo=148

Hospital

Under 5 years of age

200,000 1year one dose

Oil-based

Vitamin A=5

Placebo=3

R, B, X

Total=3

None

Rosales14 (1991)

Ndola, Zambia

Vitamin A=90

Placebo=110

Community

Children 6 months and older

200,000 1year one dose

Oil-based

Vitamin A=6

Placebo=7

R, B, I, X, Y

Total=5

none

Kawasaki15

(1994-97)

Japan, Fukushima

Vitamin A=47

Placebo=58

Hospital

5 months to 4 years

100,000 one dose

Oil-based

No deaths

R, I

Total=2

No mortality

Ellison19

(1932)

England

Vitamin A=300

Standard treatment=300

Hospital

Under 5 years of age

300 Carr and Price units for 7-21 days

Oil-based

Vitamin A=11

Standard treament=26

R*, I

Total=1

50%

R=Randomisation, B=blinding, I= intention to treat, X=Randomisation well described and appropriate, Y=double blinding well described and appropriate

* The method of Randomisation was inappropriate therefore one point is deducted.





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