The Impact of Serum Zinc Levels on Children with Acute Gastroenteritis
Iraqi Postgraduate Medical Journal,
2021, Volume 20, Issue 4, Pages 406-410
Diarrhea is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children in developing countries. Acute-onset diarrhea is usually a self-limited disease; however, acute infection can have a protracted course. Zinc is an essential nutritional element, with a broad spectrum of biological activities in humans; this element plays an important and vital role in the physical development of digestive and immune systems. Zinc deficiency is common in children from developing countries due to lack of intake of animal foods, high dietary phytate content, inadequate food intake, and increased fecal losses during diarrhea.
To assess serum zinc level in children with acute gastroenteritis.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
We conducted a cross-sectional study on 53 patients who presented with acute gastroenteritis for less than 14 days duration admitted to casualty and general ward units at Children Welfare Teaching Hospital, their age ranged (6months-15years) from 1st of April 2018 to 31st of October 2018. A detailed history and examination were done for all cases. A special questionnaire was designed for the purpose of the study. Blood samples for complete blood count, C-Reactive Protein, total serum protein and serum zinc level measurement were obtained from patients at admission Serum samples of the patients for measurement of zinc levels were collected in tubes free of trace elements and stored at (−20°C) until measurement. Zinc concentrations were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometer.
Fifty-three children with acute gastroenteritis were included in the study (40 males and 13females), their age was between 6 months-15 years. The median duration of diarrhea (4 ± 2.7) days and mean serum zinc (86.2± 26.6). A total of 18 (34%) children had low serum zinc levels.
The mean serum zinc seen was lower in patients with duration of diarrhea < 5 days than patients with duration of diarrhea ≤ 5 days; the result is statistically significant in both groups p-value > 0.05. There were no significant differences in demographic and clinical characteristics between patients with normal zinc levels and those with zinc deficiency.
The serum zinc in children with gastroenteritis has revealed a significantly decreased level.
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