Children who don't get enough vitamin A may be at an increased risk of developing chalazion, research shows.

Children who don't get enough vitamin A may be at an increased risk of developing chalazion, research shows.  Photo: Paymaun Asnaashari, OD. Click image to enlarge.

Evidence shows that vitamin deficiency is a key risk factor for children with chalazion. In a recent case-control study, researchers demonstrated that low serum vitamin A was significantly associated with this condition, suggesting vitamin A deficiency is a possible cause of chalazion among these patients.

The study authors enrolled 180 participants—90 chalazion patients and 90 healthy controls. Serum from collected blood samples was used to test levels of vitamins A and D (for the latter, 25(OH)D specifically was measured). Serum level of <0.7μmol/L and <50nmol/L were defined as a deficiency of vitamin A and D, respectively.

Baseline characteristics, including age and BMI, were similar between the two groups. The study authors reported that the average serum vitamin A levels in chalazion patients were significantly lower than in the control group. They observed no significant difference in the serum D levels of the chalazion and healthy cohorts.

The association between serum level of vitamin A and chalazion occurrence was also analyzed. The data showed that the percentage of deficiency among chalazion patients (52.2%) was considerably higher than their healthy counterparts (28.6%). However, no significant difference in D deficiency was observed between the chalazion and control groups (58.9% vs 56.7%).

“We found that serum vitamin A levels were significantly lower in patients with chalazion than in control subjects, while the serum levels of 25(OH)D were not significantly different between the two groups,” the study authors concluded. “Furthermore, we found a negative relationship between the serum vitamin A level and the morbidity of chalazion in children. These data demonstrate that vitamin A deficiency is a potential risk factor for chalazion in children.”

While the link between chalazion and vitamin A deficiency in children has been established, the researchers noted a need for further investigation of the molecular mechanisms.

Cheng H, Lv X, Yao J, et al. Clinical report: correlation of serum vitamins and chalazion. Optom Vis Sci. February 23, 2022. [Epub ahead of print].