SERUM ZINC LEVELS AMONGST PREGNANT WOMEN IN TERTIARY CARE TEACHING HOSPITAL IN SOUTH INDIA
Dr. R. P. Sathvika MD and Dr. S. Sindu Priya MD*
Introduction: Zinc deficiency is prevalent in emerging countries. Its deficiency during pregnancy has been known to be associated with growth retardation, congenital abnormalities, and low birth weight. Not many studies are available on the serum zinc levels during pregnancy in South India. Hence the present study was started to evaluate among our population in this geographical area. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted amongst 350 pregnant women with gestational age of 28 weeks or more. Each pregnant woman was questioned about her age, other characteristic features Blood was drawn to assess the serum zinc levels Statistical tests were applied according to the data collected. Results: Mean serum zinc level was 58.3 ± 15.2 μg/dL. Almost 59.8 % of the women had zinc deficiency. The dietary data revealed that 66.3 % of the women were consuming calories less than 75% of the recommended, indicating an overall poor food intake among pregnant women. Dietary zinc intake revealed that 83.6 % of the women were consuming less than 50% of the recommended (15 mg). A high prevalence of zinc deficiency was found amongst the pregnant women possibly due to the low dietary intake of zinc. Conclusion: Multiple micronutrient supplementation in the form of iron, folic acid and zinc has to be emphasized to meet the overall requirements of micronutrients which are increased during pregnancy. Dietary counselling for the pregnant mothers regarding the increased consumption of animal food sources for non-vegetarians and milk, nuts and legumes for vegetarians has to be advocated.
Keywords: Serum zinc levels, zinc deficiency, pregnancy.
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