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Matter, M. K.1; Samy, M. A.1; Shehab, D. I. H.2; Khairy, S. A.1; Hassan, H. A.1

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: June 2004 - Volume 39 - Issue - p S30
ABSTRACTS: Oral Presentation Abstracts

1Growth and Requirements,2Clinical Nutrition, The National Nutrition Institute, Cairo, Egypt

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Introduction: Zinc deficiency causes growth retardation and its frequency is high in developing countries (Siklar et al. 2003).The study was done as a part of national survey to assess the nutritional status of Egyptian school children. A total 750 primary school children were randomly selected to estimate the prevalence of zinc deficiency in urban versus rural areas & to assess its effect on their growth.

Methods: Blood sampling was taken to determine the serum zinc level. Weight-for-age, height-fro-age and weight-for-height were calculated.

Results: The results revealed that children having low serum zinc level were more in rural (19.7% for boys and 18% for girls) than in urban areas (10.7% for boys and 13.2% for girls). There was a statistical significant difference between stunted versus the normal and tall children as regards serum zinc in both urban and rural areas where 100% and 92.6% of stunted compared to 1.6% and 0.9% of normal stature had low serum zinc in urban and rural and respectively. The results also showed that mineral intake especially zinc was greatly affected in both sexes.

Conclusion: It was concluded that zinc deficiency is a health problem in primary school children. This necessitates an intervention programme through appropriate nutrition education and a proper school feeding program for supplementation.

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Siklar Z, Tuna C, Dallar Y, and Tanyer G 2003:Zinc deficiency is a contributing factor of short stature in growth hormone deficient children.J.Trop Pediatr; Jun; 49 (3): 187–8.
© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.