239785 Blinding Malnutrition

Monday, October 31, 2011: 4:30 PM

Nader Moinfar, MD , Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Longwood, FL
Christina Hsu , University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, FL
While refractive errors and cataracts arguably benefit from correction by discrete and well-defined interventional strategies, other causes of blindness are affected by uniquely different key determinants, and present multifaceted challenges in their correction. Two such examples include blinding malnutrition, as well as infectious causes of vision impairment. Ironically, both these conditions may share similar aggravating, and reversible causes, and remain a public health concern in the global context of maldistribution of resources, food and access to medicines and vaccines. Diarrhea, worm infections and other intestinal disorders, for example, impair vitamin A absorption, while measles, respiratory tract infections and other febrile illnesses increase metabolic demands and interfere with normal appetite. Protein-energy malnutrition may be an added burden that interferes with the absorption, storage and utilization of vitamin A2. In developing a conceptual framework and interventional strategies to address blindness not caused by refractive errors or cataract, the inclusion of nutritional status, as well as infectious disease epidemiology of the host nation, may therefore be necessary.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
(1)Discuss micronutrient deficiency and infectious diseases as continued causes of global blindness (2)Describe populations and comorbid diseases at particular risk for blinding malnutrition (3)Name succesful nutritional fortification programs that have positively affected the incidence of blinding malnutrition (4) Formulate novel conceptual frameworks and interventional strategies to reduce the incidence of blinding malnutrition

Keywords: Nutrition, Vision Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I worked on this project material with Dr. Moinfar.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.