Document Type : Research Article
Background: Pneumonia is a global health problem and important causes of deaths under five years of age accounting for 17% worldwide. Zinc is an important micronutrient in humans and stimulates immune responses and prevents infections. There is a higher pneumonia risk in a population with zinc deficiency with high rates of infections such as diarrhea, skin, and respiratory infections. The aim of our study is to compare the level of serum zinc in children with pneumonia with age, sex, and nutritional matched healthy controls.Objectives: To studySerum zinc levels in children hospitalised with pneumonia, Correlation between serum zinc levels and severity of pneumonia and its complications.
Materials and Methods: This cross sectional study included 90 subjects (90 with pneumonia and 90 without pneumonia) aged between 3 months to 5 years diagnosed with various levels of pneumonia and 90 age and sex matched controls. A detailed history, clinical examination, chest X-ray findings, arterial oxygen saturation(SpO2), haemoglobin (g/dl), WBC count and serum zinc levels (µg/dl) was noted.
Results: Mean serum zinc levels in cases was significantly low compared to age and sex matched controls (p value-0.001). Low serum zinc levels were associated with increasing severity of pneumonia (Pneumonia-120.21µg/dl, severe pneumonia- 59.57µg/dl, very severe pneumonia- 36.19µg/dl). Mean serum zinc levels in complicated pneumonia and death cases was very low 35.28µg/dl compared to those with no complications 109.27µg/dl and who were discharged 141.1µg/dl. Low serum zinc levels were associated with prolonged hospital stay in children.
Conclusion: The final conclusion of the present study indicates there is an inverse relation was established between serum zinc level in children and various degrees of pneumonial respiratory distress than in matched healthy controls. There could be an improvement with zinc supplementation in hospitalized children with ALRI.