Background: Zinc deficiency is an important problem in children, especially in developing countries. Zinc supplements have beneficial effects on multiple factors, including treatment of growth retardation and hypogonadism, and they can be used as therapeutic and prophylactic agents against infection in children. 

Objective: To determine the prevalence of zinc deficiency in 6-month to 12-year-old children in Bandar Abbas.

Methods: This study was done in Bandar Abbas in 2013. In this cross-sectional study, 583 children were evaluated after obtaining a written informed consent from their parents. Zinc levels < 6 μg/dl were defined as zinc deficiency, zinc levels of 80-66 μg/dl were defined as insufficient, and zinc levels of 80-115 μg/dl were defined as sufficient levels. SPSS software, version 20, descriptive statistics, the chi-squared test, and the t-test were used to analyze the data. 

Results: Five hundred and eighty-three children with a mean age of 42.82±30.68 months participated in this study. Among the participants, 263 (45.1%) were females, and 320 (54.9%) were males. The prevalence of zinc deficiency was 17.5% in this study. Zinc deficiencies were reported in 67 males (20.94%) males and in 35 females (13.30%). Zinc deficiencies were more common in boys, and this difference was statistically significant (p=0.01).

Conclusion: The results of this study indicated that the prevalence of zinc deficiencies is high in Bandar Abbas and that it is more prevalent in males than in females. The children in this area should be screened for zinc deficiency. Future studies should focus on then treatment of zinc deficiency and its role in different aspects of children’s health.


Keywords: Zinc deficiency, Children, Growth retardation
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