Serum Zinc Concentrations in Children with Acute Bloody and Watery Diarrhoea

Abolfazl Mahyar, Parviz Ayazi, Victoria Chegini, Mehdi Sahmani, Sonia Oveisi, Shiva Esmaeily


Objectives: The role of zinc in the pathogenesis of diarrhoea is controversial. This study was conducted to compare serum zinc levels in children with acute diarrhoea to those found in healthy children. Methods: This case-control study was carried out at the Qazvin Children’s Hospital in Qazvin, Iran, between July 2012 and January 2013. A total of 60 children with acute diarrhoea (12 children with bloody diarrhoea and 48 children with watery diarrhoea) and 60 healthy children were included. Zinc levels for all subjects were measured using a flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer and data were analysed and compared between groups. Results: Mean serum zinc levels in the patients with acute bloody diarrhoea, acute watery diarrhoea and the control group were 74.1 ± 23.7 μg/dL, 169.4 ± 62.7 μg/dL and 190.1 ± 18.0 μg/dL, respectively (P = 0.01). Hypozincaemia was observed in 50.0% of children with acute bloody diarrhoea and 12.5% of those with acute watery diarrhoea. None of the patients in the control group had hypozincaemia (P = 0.01). Conclusion: Children with acute bloody diarrhoea had significantly reduced serum zinc levels in comparison to healthy children. However, a study with a larger sample size is needed to examine the significance of this trend.


Zinc; Diarrhea; Children; Case-Control Study; Iran.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

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