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Comparing the Effects of Zinc Supplementation as Adjunct to the Conventional Therapy and Placebo on Morbidity in Children with Pneumonia Between Ages 1 Year to 5 Years

Background: Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in children younger than 5 years of age. Treatments are available for timely management of pneumonia but mortality is still high in developing countries like Pakistan. Zinc may have an important protective role in cases of childhood pneumonia and can help in reducing potential complications of pneumonia and can also help to reduce the incidence of mortality in children less than five years of age. So we conducted this study to find the therapeutic role of zinc as an adjunct to standard therapy for pneumonia in comparison to placebo.

Objective: To compare the effect of zinc supplementation and placebo on morbidity in children with pneumonia age 1 year to 5 years in one year duration.

Study duration: One year.

Methodology: This randomized control trial was conducted in the Department of Pediatrics Unit-I, King Edward Medical University/Mayo Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan. After the consent was taken, 150 children from 1 year to 5 years of ages with pneumonia consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) acute respiratory infections (ARI) definition along with crepitation’s on auscultation were registered by non-probability purposive sampling and were randomized into treatment group (Group A) and placebo group (Group B). Seventy five children were supplemented with zinc for 15 days while 75 children were supplemented with placebo. Outcome measure was duration of hospital stay in both groups.

Results: The mean age of children in zinc therapy group was 3.01 years while the mean age of children in placebo group was 2.85 years. In zinc therapy group, there were 48 (64.0%) male and 27 (36.0%) female children. In placebo group, there were 48 (64.0%) male and 27 (36.0%) female children.

The mean hospital stay was 3 ± 1 days in zinc group while 7 ± 3 days in placebo groups (P<0.05) and showing that zinc therapy is better than placebo.

Conclusion: Zinc supplementation as adjunct to the conventional therapy for management of pneumonia reduces hospital stay.


Arun Kumar Singh, Muhammad Ashraf Sultan

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