Oral vitamin A supplements are no help to children hospitalized with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), even though RSV has been associated with low serum vitamin A levels, the January 1996 Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine reports.

RSV causes worldwide epidemics of lower respiratory tract illness in children and, in the United States, is responsible for 91,000 hospital admissions costing more than $300 million annually.

In a study conducted at two Chicago hospitals, blood work was analyzed from three groups of children: 32 RSV-infected inpatients, 35 inpatients without RSV, and 39 healthy outpatient controls. Vitamin A and retinol binding protein (RBP) levels were determined for each patient.

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