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#Allergy and Immunology
Nowadays, subclinical micronutrient deficiencies are gradually gaining more importance as a public health problem and drawing attention also of the healthcare authorities. Now it is known that to detect and treat people who have deficiency symptoms alone is not enough. It has become more important to detect and prevent any deficiency before it shows any clinical manifestations. Likewise, zinc deficiency is one of the most prevalent micronutrient deficiencies. The objective of this study is to assess the zinc status and the related factors in healthy school-age children.
The study was conducted in schools in Altindag, the district of Ankara. A total number of 1063 of healthy children, which included 585 girls and 478 boys, aged 5-16 years were enrolled in the study. Serum zinc, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels and white blood cell count were evaluated. It was considered that a serum zinc level <65 μg/dL was a subclinical zinc deficiency for children <10 years of age. For children ≥10 years of age, the cut-offs for serum zinc concentration were considered at 66 μg/dL for females and 70 μg/dL for males. A questionnaire was also prepared to collect socioeconomic and demographic information of the participants of the study.
The result of the study showed that the incidence of subclinical zinc deficiency in children who attended the study was detected to be 27.8%. As per this high ratio, it was considered that zinc deficiency was an important health problem in children. Thus, the study revealed the high prevalence of subclinical zinc deficiency and indicated that zinc deficiency is a public health concern in children.
Source: Vuralli D, Tumer L, Hasanoglu A. Zinc deficiency in the pediatric age group is common but underevaluated. World J Pediatr. 2017;13(4):360-366. doi:10.1007/s12519-017-0007-8