Prevalence and Risk Factors of Zinc Status among Infants and Preschool Children: A Cross-sectional Study in East Gojjam, Amhara Region, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Zi nc deficiency is a major public health concern and one of the most prevalent micronutrient deficiencies in developing countries, including Eth iopia. There was no information on se rum zinc status of in fan ts and preschool chi ldren in Ethiopia n. The main objective of this study was to assess the prevalence and risk factors of zinc deficiency among infants and preschool children. A community based, cross-sectiona l study was conducted in East Gojjam zone between October and April 2011. Randomly se lected 240 infa nts and preschool children were included in the study. Data on potential determinants of zinc deficiency were co llected using a structured questionnaire . Serum zinc concen tration was measured using Atom ic Absorption Spectrometer. Anthropometric measurement analysis was done by using Emergency Nutrition Assessment 2011 software. Sta ti stica l analysis was done using ANOVA and Student's tindependent t est and linear regression model. The mean serum zinc concentration of infants and preschool children was 62.98 (±13.03) Ilg/d l (95% CI : 61.32, 64.63 Ilg/d l). About 57.1% of the subjects were zinc deficient. Height-for-age, weight-for-age and weight-for-height revealed that 43.3% (95% CI: 37.10, 49.60), 19.7% (95% CI: 15.20, 25.30) and 5.9% (95% CI: 3.60, 9.70) of the total subjects were found to be stun ted, underweight and wasted, respectively. The main determinants of low serum zinc status of infants and preschool children were age and number of family members living on the same land. Compared to infant age groups, zinc status of older children is 3.67Ilg/dl (95% CI : -5.58, -1.77 Ilg/dl) lower than children who were aged 6-10 months. Serum zinc st atus of infants and preschool children is decreased by 0.83 Ilg/dl (95% CI:- 1.36, -0.30 Ilg/d l) with one unit increase the number of fam ily members. Household food inse cu rity level, dietary diversity, sex, ch ild health, anthropometric indices, materna l education, and socioeconomic status were not associated with serum zi nc status. The prevalence of zinc deficiency was more than two-fold of the val ue set by IZiNCG. Such potential deficiencies require urgent attention needs including complementary food prepa ration education; traditiona l phytate reduction method and family planning implementation are recommended in the study area. KEYWORDS: Serum zinc concentration, Zinc deficiency, Infant and preschool chi ldren



Serum zinc concentration, Zinc deficiency, Infant and preschool chi ldren