A total of 1,717 children were randomised to VAS or placebo. At baseline the VAS and placebo groups were comparable [12
]. Only 203 children were never measured for growth. The majority had died (n
93) or were travelling at the time of the visit (n
72) (Figure ). These children showed the same distribution of background factors between the VAS and placebo groups (Additional file 1
Flow of children through the study.
Overall there was no difference in weight, length and head circumference between the VAS and placebo groups 2 months after enrolment adjusted for baseline anthropometric measurements and randomisation to BCG (Table ). The effect of VAS on head circumference-for-age tended to differ with whether given with or without BCG (interaction p
0.06); the effect of VAS was beneficial when given with BCG (0.16 (0.00; 0.32)), but not when VAS was given without BCG (−0.06 (−0.22; 0.10)). This tendency may have been strongest among boys in whom the beneficial effect of VAS given with BCG was significant (head circumference: 0.37 (0.06; 0.69); head circumference-for-age: 0.26 (0.01; 0.49)). For weight there also was the same tendency towards a beneficial effect of VAS when given with BCG and a negative effect when given without BCG (Interaction: weight p
0.08; weight-for-age p
0.07), Neonatal VAS had no effect on MUAC at 2 months after enrolment and no effect on any of the anthropometric parameters at 6 and 12 months after enrolment, neither overall nor separately in the early BCG and No BCG groups (Additional file 2
Neonatal vitamin A supplementation (VAS) and anthropometric measurements at 2 months, overall and by BCG-group
Stratified by the children’s DTP status at the 2 months visit, the effect of VAS on weight-for-age and head circumference-for-age was beneficial at 6 months after enrolment if the child had not received a DTP vaccine at 2 months (weight: 0.18 (0.00; 0.36), head circumference: 0.27 (0.06; 0.48)) whereas there was a tendency towards a negative effect if the child had received a DTP vaccine (weight: -0.02 (−0.16; 0.10); head circumference: -0.08 (−0.23; 0.07)) (Table ). Hence, there was a significant interaction between VAS and DTP for head circumference (interaction: p
0.01) and a tendency towards an interaction for weight (interaction p
0.06). When further stratifying on sex, the beneficial effect of VAS on head circumference in the delayed DTP group was most pronounced among girls (difference: 0.40 (0.12; 0.68)) whereas the beneficial effect on weight delayed DTP group was most pronounced among boys (difference: 0.52 (0.24; 0.81)). This resulted in a statistically significant 3-way interaction between sex, VAS, and DTP for weight (interaction: p
0.01). There was no interaction between VAS and DTP for length at 6 months after enrolment.
Neonatal vitamin A supplementation (VAS) and anthropometric measurements at 6 months by 2 months DTP-status
Stratified on weight group at inclusion, there was no beneficial effect of VAS among the different weight groups on weight-for-age, length-for-age and head-circumference-for-age at 2 months (Table ). Among the smallest girls (weight
1.5 kg) there was a negative effect of VAS on weight-for-age and head circumference-for-age.
Neonatal vitamin A supplementation (VAS) and weight, length and head circumference at 2 months by weight at inclusion