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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2004 Jan;38(1):34-40.

Zinc with oral rehydration therapy reduces stool output and duration of diarrhea in hospitalized children: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. shinjini_bhatnagar@rediffmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The authors evaluated the effect of zinc treatment as an adjunct to oral rehydration therapy on stool output and diarrheal duration in children with acute noncholera diarrhea with dehydration.

METHODS:

This double-blind, randomized, controlled trial was conducted at two urban hospitals in New Delhi. A total of 287 dehydrated male patients, ages 3 to 36 months, with diarrhea for <or= 72 hours were enrolled. They were assigned to zinc or placebo by a randomization scheme stratified by age (<or= or >12 months) and weight for height (65%-80% or >80% National Centre for Health Statistics median). Participants in the zinc group received 15 mg (<or=12 months) or 30 mg (>12 months) elemental zinc daily in three divided doses for 14 days. The main outcome measures were stool output and diarrheal duration.

RESULTS:

Zinc treatment reduced total stool output (ratio of geometric means, 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.48, 0.99) and stool output per day of diarrhea (ratio of geometric means, 0.76; 95% CI: 0.59, 0.98). The risk of continued diarrhea was lower (relative hazards, 0.76; 95% CI: 0.59, 0.97) and the proportion of diarrheal episodes lasting >or= 5 days (odds ratio, 0.49; 95% CI: 0.25, 0.97) or >or= 7 days was less (odds ratio, 0.09; 95% CI: 0.01, 0.73) in the zinc group.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study demonstrates a beneficial effect of zinc administered during acute diarrhea on stool output, diarrheal duration, and proportion of episodes lasting more than 7 days. The effects are large enough to merit routine use of zinc during acute diarrhea in developing countries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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