TABLE 57Comorbidities in children receiving zinc supplements

StudyTreatment armsp-value
Gatheru et al. 198870Zinc 5 mg/kg/day during treatment (n = 42)Control (n = 40)
Oedema duration, range in days2–18 (n = 31)2–18 (n = 26)NR
Oedema lost by end of day 7, %77 (n = 31)55 (n = 26)NR
Mean days taken to lose oedema ± SD6.3 ± 4.6 (n = 31)8.1 ± 4.4 (n = 26)< 0.05
Mean diarrhoeaa duration ± SD, days3.62 ± 2.78 (n = 17)10.8 ± 3.4 (n = 22)< 0.001
Mean anorexiaa duration ± SD, days6 ± 3.16 (n = 26)10.3 ± 5.01 (n = 22)< 0.01
Mean days taken for skin lesionsa to heal ± SD7.9 ± 3.1 (n = 10)11.1 ± 2.1 (n = 9)< 0.03
Hemalatha et al. 199372Zinc 40 mg/day for 21 days (n = 16)Placebo (n = 17)
Mean days for oedema to disappear ± SE9.0 ± 2.03515.7 ± 2.7NS
Mean duration of morbidity because of infections ± SE, days6.3 ± 0.9597.7 ± 1.040NRb
Makonnen et al. 200374,75Zinc 10 mg/day until 90 days post discharge (n = 150)Placebo (n = 150)95% CI for difference
Morbidity on follow-up (90 days), n (%)n = 138, 85–95 dayscn = 116, 83–95 daysc
Oedema0 (0)0 (0)−2.0 to 1.2
Diarrhoea4 (2.9)31 (36.7)−32.0 to −15.0
Vomiting1 (0.7)8 (6.9)−11.2 to −1.2
Skin infection1 (0.7)8 (6.9)−11.2 to −1.2
Fever4 (2.9)12 (10.3)−13.8 to −1.1
 ARI4 (2.9)45 (38.8)−44.7 to −26.2
Pallor32 (23.2)62 (53.4)−41.3 to −18.4
Schlesinger et al. 199276Zinc 15 mg/l in infant formula for 105 days (n = 19)Zinc 3.2 mg/l in infant formula for 105 days (n = 20)
Otitis media episodes (mean ± SD) during the 105 days rehabilitation0.73 ± 0.91.85 ± 2.30.05 > p < 0.1, Student's t-test
Average number of acute diarrhoeal episodes20Statistically significant difference, p-value NR
Bhutta et al. 199979Zinc 3 mg/kg/day for 28 days (n = 43)Placebo (n = 44)
Mean stool frequency ± SDd (n/day)
 Day 110.2 ± 6.411.8 ± 7.8
 Day 75.9 ± 5.65.2 ± 3.7
 Day 142.9 ± 1.63.0 ± 2.20.52e
Decrease in stool frequency (n/day)7.4 ± 7.48.1 ± 8.8NS
Stool volume (g/kg/day) (males)
 Day 1116.8 ± 103.7141.9 ± 171.6
 Day 766.7 ± 68.143.9 ± 40.1
 Day 1424.9 ± 16.227.8 ± 31.40.42e
Decrease in stool volume (g/kg/day)91.1 ± 103.698.0 ± 187.9NS

ANOVA, analysis of variance; ARI, acute respiratory infection; NR, not reported; NS, not statistically significant.

a

The number of participants contributing data to these outcomes varied, and it is not known how many participants had diarrhoea, anorexia or skin lesions at baseline.

b

States groups were comparable, but no p-value reported.

c

Time elapsed from discharge to third follow-up. Data were presented for morbidities during the first 3 weeks of hospitalisation (no morbidity, poor appetite, oedema, diarrhoea, vomiting, cough, fever, weight loss and oral lesions). The paper reports a general trend for the zinc-supplemented group to recover more rapidly, though it is not true for all symptoms nor were there any statistically significant differences over the first 3 weeks.

d

Presumed to be SD, but not explicitly stated.

e

p-values are for the repeated measures ANOVA, which evaluated the interaction of time trend and therapy effect for both groups during 14 days of therapy. All differences are non-significant.

From: 4, Assessment of clinical effectiveness

Cover of The Effectiveness of Interventions to Treat Severe Acute Malnutrition in Young Children: A Systematic Review
The Effectiveness of Interventions to Treat Severe Acute Malnutrition in Young Children: A Systematic Review.
Health Technology Assessment, No. 16.19.
Picot J, Hartwell D, Harris P, et al.
Southampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library; 2012 Apr.
© 2012, Crown Copyright.

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