Vitamin A deficiency is associated with excess mortality and morbidity and has been the subject of several systematic reviews. A new Cochrane Review published in December 2010 on vitamin A supplementation for preventing morbidity and mortality in children aged 6 months to 5 years concludes that vitamin A supplementation is effective in reducing the risk of all-cause mortality by 24% compared with no treatment...
Sometimes, therapies that are widely available and have a strong rationale for use still disappoint when subjected to clinical trials. Preterm or very-low-birthweight infants are deficient in immunoglobulin, the glycoprotein that forms antibodies, as they miss maternal 'gift' of immunoglobulin that occurs mainly after 32 weeks' gestation and won't start making their own immunoglobulin until 24 week after birth. Administration of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) to very-low-birthweight infants has been extensively studied as a way of preventing or treating nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections in preterm infants. But two recently updated Cochrane Reviews show little benefit for routine IVIG treatment and indicate that there is no need for further studies.