Efficacy of zinc therapy in acute diarrhea in children


  • Suman Chirla Department of Pediatrics, NRI Medical college, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • Satish Datla Department of Pediatrics, GSL Medical college, Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, India




Acute gastroenteritis, Diarrhea, Zinc


Background: Diarrhoea is a major public health problem in developing countries. An estimate of 1.5 billion episodes of diarrhoea occurs each year and 3 million children under the age of 5 years die due to diarrhoea. Its effect is particularly devastating on children below 2 years of age, with eighty percent (80%) of deaths due to diarrhoea occurring during the first 2 years of life. Diarrhoeal diseases constitute 18% of under five deaths in Asia-Pacific countries.

Methods: The present study was carried out in Anil Neerukonda hospital, Visakhapatnam from July’2015 to July’2017 over a period of 2 years. A detailed clinical study of 100 children between the age group of 6 months to 5 years with acute diorrhea was done. Zinc was given to 50% of cases and was not given to the rest of 50%. Duration of hospital stay (in days) and duration of diarrhoeal episodes (in days) were compared in both the groups.

Results: Incidence of acute gastroenteritis was maximum below 2 years of age (77%). Patients administered with Zinc had significantly less duration of hospital stay 3.35 days vs. 5.34 days (in patients who were not administered zinc) with t=8.170 and a strongly significant p<0.001.

Conclusions: Incidence of acute gastroenteritis is maximum below 2 years of age. Patients in zinc group had significantly less duration of hospital stay and less proportion diarrhoeal episodes on follow up compared to the non-zinc group.


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