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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 1112-1115

Effect of zinc supplementation on growth of preterm infants

1 Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufiya University, Menoufiya, Egypt
2 Department of Paediatrics, General Hospital, Menoufiya, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Amr M Shawky Elghorab
Shebin El-kom-Batanoun, Menoufia, 32721
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-2098.202496

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Objective This work aimed to study the effect of zinc supplementation on growth of preterm infants. Background Preterm infants have impaired zinc status because of low body stores, as 60% of fetal zinc is acquired during the third trimester of pregnancy. In addition, this can be attributed to their limited capacity to absorb and retain micronutrients, coupled with increased endogenous losses associated with organ immaturity. Patients and methods The present study was carried out on 60 healthy preterm infants below 37 weeks of age divided into two groups: a zinc-supplemented group fed with breast milk and supplemented with zinc (2 mg/kg/day) since the first day of life, and a non-zinc-supplemented group fed with breast milk (without zinc supplementation). Both groups were followed up for 6 months for growth and serum levels of zinc and hemoglobin at the age of 6 months. Results The zinc-supplemented group showed a significant increase (P<0.05) in both weight and length at the age of 6 months. There was a highly significant increase in the serum zinc and hemoglobin levels in the zinc-supplemented group compared with the non-zinc-supplemented group, in addition to a significant positive correlation between zinc level and hemoglobin level at day 1 and at 6 months. Conclusion Zinc supplementation for preterm low birth weight babies was found effective in enhancing the growth in early months of life and has a positive effect on their linear growth.

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