Plasma and serum zinc concentrations are widely used markers of zinc status.
In this study, physicians from Nepal and Norway identified factors influencing plasma zinc concentrations during acute childhood diarrhea.
The team examined 1757 cases of acute diarrhea in Nepalese children, aged between 6 and 35 months.
They estimated the association between plasma zinc concentration and several clinical, anthropometric, socioeconomic, and biochemical variables.
The physicians observed a reduction in the mean plasma zinc concentration of 0.59 µmol/L per degree Celsius increase in axillary temperature.
|Plasma albumin concentration confounded the association between some variables and plasma zinc.|
|American Journal of Clinical Nutrition|
In addition, dysentery and an elevated plasma C-reactive protein concentration was associated with lower plasma zinc.
The team found that children who were dehydrated had higher plasma zinc concentrations than did those who were not.
Furthermore, a decrease in plasma albumin of 1 g/L was associated with a decrease in plasma zinc of 0.25 µmol/L.
The team determined that the plasma albumin concentration confounded the associations between some clinical variables and plasma zinc.
They also established that plasma zinc concentration increased with an increase in observed hemolysis.
Dr Tor Strand's team concluded, "Dehydration, clinical and biochemical indicators of inflammation and hemolysis, and, when possible, plasma albumin concentrations should be taken into account when the plasma zinc concentration is used to estimate zinc status during episodes of diarrhea in childhood".