Adding zinc to supplemental iron and folic acid does not affect mortality and severe morbidity in young children

Bhandari, Nita ; Taneja, Sunita ; Mazumder, Sarmila ; Bahl, Rajiv ; Fontaine, Olivier ; Bhan, Maharaj K. ; et., al (2007) Adding zinc to supplemental iron and folic acid does not affect mortality and severe morbidity in young children The Journal of Nutrition, 137 (1). pp. 112-117. ISSN 0022-3166

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Studies have found a substantial reduction in diarrhea and respiratory morbidity in young children receiving zinc supplementation. The impact of daily zinc supplementation administered with iron plus folic acid (IFA) in young children on all-cause hospitalizations and mortality in comparison with IFA alone was evaluated. In a double blind cluster-randomized controlled trial, 94,359 subjects aged 1-23 mo were administered a daily dose of zinc plus IFA or IFA alone for a duration of 12 mo after enrollment. The intervention group tablet contained 10 mg of elemental zinc, 12.5 mg of iron, and 50 μg of folic acid. The control group tablets were similar except that they contained a placebo for zinc. Infants aged <6 mo were administered half a tablet, and those older received 1 tablet dissolved in breast milk or water. Hospitalizations were captured by trained study physicians through the surveillance of 8 hospitals. Deaths and hospitalizations were ascertained through visits to households by study supervisors once every 2 mo. The overall death rates did not differ significantly between the 2 groups when adjusted for cluster randomization (hazard ratio = 1.02, 95% CI 0.87, 1.19). Zinc and IFA supplementation compared with IFA alone did not affect adjusted hospitalization rates (overall rate ratio = 1.08, 95% CI 0.98, 1.19; diarrhea-specific rate ratio = 1.15, 95% CI 0.99, 1.34; or pneumonia-specific rate ratio = 1.09, 95% CI 0.94, 1.25). The lack of impact of zinc on mortality and hospitalization rates in this study may have been due to the use of lower daily zinc dosing than used in some of the morbidity prevention trials or from an interaction between zinc and iron, where the addition of iron may have adversely affected potential effects of zinc on immune function and morbidity. Future research should address iron and zinc interaction effects on important functional outcomes.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to American Society of Nutritional Sciences.
ID Code:2432
Deposited On:08 Oct 2010 09:16
Last Modified:16 May 2016 13:25

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