Zinc deficiency: Descriptive epidemiology and morbidity among preschool children in periurban population in Delhi, India

Usha Dhingra, Girish Hiremath, Venugopal P. Menon, Pratibha Dhingra, Archana Sarkar, Sunil Sazawal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Community-based data relating to factors influencing zinc deficiency among preschool children in India are inadequate. Data of a large, double-blinded, randomized, controlled zinc-supplementation trial were used for assessing the descriptive epidemiology of zinc deficiency among children aged 6-35 months (n=940). In total, 609 children were followed up for 120 days for information on morbidity. Of these children, 116 from the control group belonging to the upper and the lower 25th quartile of plasma zinc status at baseline were selected for assessing the association of zinc deficiency with prospective morbidity. At baseline, demographic, socioeconomic and dietary information was collected, and anthropometric measurements and levels of plasma zinc were assessed. At baseline, 73.3% of the children were zinc-deficient (plasma zinc <70 μg/dL), of which 33.8% had levels of plasma zinc below 60 μg/dL. A significantly higher risk of morbidity was prevalent among the subjects with lower plasma zinc compared to those with higher levels of plasma zinc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)632-639
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Health, Population and Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2009



  • Child
  • Descriptive
  • Diarrhoea
  • Double-blind method
  • Epidemiology
  • India
  • Morbidity
  • Randomized controlled trials
  • Slums
  • Zinc
  • Zinc deficiency
  • Zinc supplementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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