Objective: To monitor the therapeutic impact of zinc supplementation on clinical course of acute diarrhea i.e. frequency of stool, on stool amount and duration of acute diarrhea.
Study Design: Randomized controlled trial.
Place and Duration of Study: Family medicine department, PAF Hospital, Islamabad Pakistan from Jul to Dec 2009.
Material and Methods: One hundred and twenty eight children aged6 months to 60 months in an Outpatient pediatric department of PAF Hospital, E-9 Sector Islamabad with acute diarrhea of less than 14 days were included in this randomized controlled trial. They were further divided into two groups zinc supplemented group (n=65) and non-zinc supplemented group (n=65).
Results: Baseline characteristics were similar in both the groups. Mean age in zinc supplemented group was 33.67 ± 16.45 months and in non-zinc supplemented group 33.63 ± 16.44 months. Reduction in stool frequency per day was found 62% in zinc supplemented group and 26% reduction was found in non-zinc supplemented group with obvious difference of 36% between these two groups from day 3 to day 5, which was found statistically significant (p=0.01). Similarly, significant difference (p=0.01) was observed for reduction in amount of stool per day from day 3 and day 5 with obvious difference of 45% between the study groups.
Conclusions: Oral zinc administration in acute diarrhea reduces the frequency of diarrhea, output of stool and decreases total duration of diarrhea.
Keywords : Acute diarrhea, Amount of stool, Frequency of stool, Zinc supplements