A randomized controlled trial of zinc supplementation in the treatment of acute respiratory tract infection in Thai children.
Pediatr Rep. 2019 May 23 ;11(2):7954. Epub 2019 May 23. PMID: 31214301
Acute Lower Respiratory Tract Infections (ALRI) are one of the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in young children. Zinc supplementation has been shown to have a preventive effect against respiratory infections, but little evidence is available on its effect on the treatment of ALRI. This study examined the effect of zinc supplementation on the treatment outcome in children that were hospitalized with ALRI. A randomized, doubleblinded, placebo-controlled trial was conducted on 64 hospitalized children with ALRI, who were aged between 2 and 60 months. Children were randomly allocated to receive zinc (30 mg elemental zinc/day) or placebo. The primary outcome was the time to the cessation of ALRI, while the secondary outcomes were the length of the stay in hospital and the individual features of the disease. The study found that ALRI cessation was faster in children who received zinc supplementation (median (IQR): 3 (2-4) days and 4 (3-5) days, respectively; P=0.008), and that their hospital stay was shorter (mean (SD): 3.8 (1.3) days and 6.1 (3.2) days, respectively; P<0.001) than the placebo group. Zinc supplementation was well-tolerated, and no adverse events were reported. In conclusion, zinc supplementation reduced the number of days of ALRI in Thai children, as well as their stay in hospital.