Serum Micronutrients as related to Childhood Pneumonia Severity and Outcome in a Nigerian Health Facility
Introduction: Micronutrients are essential minerals and vitamins needed for optimal health. There are however conflicting reports about the roles of micronutrients in severity and outcomes of childhood pneumonia. This study aims to determine the socio-demographic and serum micronutrients – Zinc (Zn), Selenium (Se), Vitamins (Vit) A, C and E status of Nigerian children with or without pneumonia and relate these to pneumonia severity and outcome.
Methodology: Children aged two months to 14 years with severe and non-severe pneumonia were recruited with age and sex-matched controls over 12 month period in a Nigerian tertiary health centre. Relevant history and serum micronutrients were compared in the two groups and related to pneumonia severity and length of hospitalisation (LOH).
Results: One hundred and forty-four children (72 for each group) were recruited with median (IQR) age 1.6 (0.6 – 4.0) years and fifty-six (38.8%) had severe pneumonia. Pneumonia incidence was associated with undernutrition, inappropriate immunisation and Zn deficiency (p < 0.05). Hypovitaminosis A [60.8(22.2)µg/dl vs. 89.5(34.7)µg/dl; p < 0.001], low serum Zn [71.6(32.5)µg/dl vs. 92.6(24.6)µg/dl; p=0.019] and indoor air pollution (IAP) were associated with pneumonia severity. However, only IAP (OR = 4.529; 95%CI 1.187–17.284; p=0.027) and Zn deficiency (OR=6.144; 95%CI 1.157–32.617; p=0.033) independently predicted severe pneumonia. No significant correlation between serum micronutrients and LOH.
Conclusions: Exposure to IAP and low serum micronutrients particularly Zn and Vit A were associated with pneumonia incidence and severity in Nigerian children. Routine micronutrient supplementation may assist to reduce the burden of childhood pneumonia in developing countries.
Copyright (c) 2021 Bankole Kuti, Hammed Adetola, Oyeku Akibu Oyelami
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