Role of Zinc Supplementation in the Improvement of Acute Respiratory Infections among Iranian Children: A Systematic Review

Document Type : Review Article


1 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Faculty of Health, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand ,Iran,

2 Visiting Scholar, Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences, Northumbria University, UK.


Background: Respiratory infectious disease is considered as one of the most serious problems among children in developing countries. The importance of zinc in the improvement of respiratory disease has been indicated. However, there are some unanswered questions and uncertainty. This systematic review aimed at assessing the therapeutic benefits of zinc supplementation on respiratory infections of Iranian children.
Materials and Methods: Databases, such as PubMed, Scopus, Embase, Magiran, and IranDoc, were searched for randomized controlled trials published from January 1998 to December 2017 on Zinc supplementation for the treatment or improvement of acute respiratory disease among Iranian children, during March 2018. Studies were screened according to the PICO framework, and irrelevant studies were excluded.
Results: A total of 5 studies conducted on 522 children were included in this review. Except for one study, others had indicated the beneficial effect of zinc supplement on improving signs and symptoms of respiratory infectious disease and earlier discharge from the hospital.
Conclusion: Although studies on the efficacy of zinc on respiratory infectious disease of children in Iran have not widely considered and more studies should be conducted, all published articles (except for one of them) had indicated the effectiveness of zinc supplementation on respiratory infections among children. Other criteria, such as age, gender, birth weight, diet, and type of respiratory infections, should be considered during zinc therapy. Controlling these confounding variables and measuring the level of blood zinc are necessary to understand how much zinc should be prescribed for respiratory treatment of children.