EFFECTIVENESS OF ZINC SUPPLEMENTATION IN ACUTE WATERY DIARRHEA
Dr. D. VEL MURUGAN, Dr. S. P. SARAVANAN, Dr. LUKE RAVI CHELLIAH, Dr. D. GUNASINGH, Prof. SARADHA SURESH, Prof. MANGAYARKARASI SENGUTTUVAN
Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children
To evaluate the effectiveness of zinc supplementation in acute watery diarrhea.
Double blind randomized clinical trial.
Diarrhea Treatment Unit, ICH & HC, Egmore, Chennai-8.
Children aged 6 months to 35 months with acute watery diarrhea with no or some dehyration treated during May 2004 to September 2004.
250 children with acute watery diarrhea were randomized into two groups. One group received zinc capsules containing 20 mg elemental zinc and the second group received similar capsules containing dextrose (Placebo) for 14 days. All the children received Oral Rehydration Therapy. The children were followed up daily till recovery and also after 14 days. Both groups were comparable with respect to various initial characteristics including age, sex, nutritional status, diarrheal disease and serum zinc status at the time of enrollment. In the zinc supplemented group the total number of loose stools and frequency of loose stools were significantly reduced when compared to placebo group (p=0.03 & p=0.04 respectively). he duration of diarrhea was less in the zinc supplemented group but was not significant. However, children with under nutrition and children with some dehydration had significantly lesser duration of diarrhea. (p=0.05 & p=0.05 respectively). Zinc supplemented group also showed significant gain in weight and significant rise in the zinc status (p=0.001 & p=0.04 respectively). When compared to the placebo group at 14 days review.
It was concluded that zinc supplementation as an adjunct therapy to ORS has beneficial effects on the clinical course of acute watery diarrhea.
Acute Diarrhea, Supplementation, Zinc.
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