Zinc therapy for diarrhoea improves growth among bangladeshi infants 6 to 11 months of age

Aliya Naheed, Christa L. Walker Fischer, Dinesh Mondal, Saifuddin Ahmed, Shams El Arifeen, Mohammad Yunus, Robert E. Black, Abdullah H. Baqui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES:: We assessed the effect of zinc for the treatment of diarrhoea implemented at the community level on physical growth among children 6 to 35 months of age. METHODS:: The service areas of 30 community health workers in the Matlab field site of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, were randomly allocated to the intervention or comparison study arm. Between November 1998 and October 2000, caretakers of 3- to 59-month-old children with diarrhoea in both intervention and comparison areas were offered oral rehydration solution and feeding advice, and severe episodes were referred for facility-based care. The caretakers of the children in the intervention area were additionally offered 20 mg/day elemental zinc for 14 days as adjunct treatment for each diarrhoea episode. Weight and length of children who were 6 to 11 months of age at the beginning of the study were measured every 2 months for 2 years. Rates of length and weight gains were compared between children living in intervention and control arms using a latent growth model. RESULTS:: Characteristics of children living in control and intervention areas were similar, except that more children living in intervention areas were underweight at baseline (44 vs 35%; P ≤ 0.02). Children living in intervention clusters gained slightly more weight and length than children in the control clusters (86.4 g/year and 2.8 mm/year, respectively). CONCLUSIONS:: The therapeutic use of zinc along with oral rehydration solution for community-based diarrhoea management may have a small positive benefit on the rates of growth among children younger than 3 years of age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-93
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Cluster randomized controlled trial
  • Diarrhoea
  • Effectiveness trial
  • Growth
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology


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