Double-blind, randomized, controlled trial of zinc or vitamin A supplementation in young children with acute diarrhoea

A. S.G. Faruque, D. Mahalanabis, S. S. Haque, G. J. Fuchs, D. Habte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

In a double-blind, controlled trial with a factorial design, 684 patients (aged 6 months to 2 y; excludes 6 early dropouts) with acute watery diarrhoea of 3 d or less and some dehydration, who were attending a hospital, were randomly assigned to 4 groups to receive: (a) vitamin A 4500 μg retinol equivalent daily for 15 d; (b) 14.2 mg elemental zinc as acetate for the first 417 patients and 40 mg of the remaining 273 patients randomized to this group for 15 d; (c) both vitamin A 4500 μg retinol equivalent and zinc at the above doses daily for 15 d; or (d) placebo mixtures for 15 d. Patients were observed in the hospital for 24 h and followed up at home for 15 d. All received ascorbic acid 30 mg with each dose of medicine or placebo. Zinc supplementation was associated with a reduced duration of diarrhoea (13%, p = 0.03) and markedly reduced rate (43%, p = 0.017) of prolonged diarrhoea (>7 d). Vitamin A supplementation was associated with a nonsignificant trend for reduced rate of prolonged diarrhoea (p = 0.089). In conclusion, zinc supplementation as adjunct therapy had a substantial impact on the rate of prolonged diarrhoea and some impact on duration and may be beneficial in children with diarrhoea in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-160
Number of pages7
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Volume88
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

Keywords

  • Acute diarrhoea
  • Therapy
  • Vitamin A
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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