A Randomized Controlled Trial of Zinc as Adjuvant Therapy for Severe Pneumonia in Young Children

Pediatrics, 04/13/2012

Basnet S et al. – Adjunct treatment with zinc reduced the time to cessation of severe pneumonia and the risk of treatment failure only marginally, if at all, in hospitalized children.

Methods

  • The authors enrolled 610 children aged 2 to 35 months who presented with severe pneumonia defined by the World Health Organization as cough and/or difficult breathing combined with lower chest indrawing.
  • All children received standard antibiotic treatment and were randomized to receive zinc (10 mg in 2- to 11-month-olds and 20 mg in older children) or placebo daily for up to 14 days.

Results

  • Zinc recipients recovered marginally faster, but this difference was not statistically significant (hazard ratio = 1.10, 95% CI 0.94–1.30).
  • Similarly, the risk of treatment failure was slightly but not significantly lower in those who received zinc (risk ratio = 0.88 95% CI 0.71–1.10).

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