Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Effects of zinc and iron supplementation fail to improve motor and language milestone scores of infants and toddlers

TitleEffects of zinc and iron supplementation fail to improve motor and language milestone scores of infants and toddlers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsSurkan, PJ, Siegel, EH, Patel, SA, Katz, J, Khatry, SK, Stoltzfus, RJ, LeClerq, SC, Tielsch, JM
Date PublishedMar
ISBN Number08999007 (ISSN)
Accession Number23298972
Keywordsarticle, Brain, Child, child health care, child nutrition, children, controlled study, Diet, Dietary Supplements, drug effect, drug treatment failure, ethnic group, Female, folic acid, follow up, human, Humans, Infant, Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena, Iron, Iron, Dietary, language ability, Language development, Male, Micronutrients, Motor Skills, Nepal, nutrient management, nutritional assessment, nutritional status, placebo, Placebos, preschool child, priority journal, Psychomotor performance, randomized controlled trial, treatment duration, Treatment Outcome, Zinc

Objective: To assess the effects of zinc and iron-folic acid supplementation on motor and language milestones in Nepali children. Methods: Five hundred forty-four children 4 to 17 mo old residing in Ishwarpur, Nepal were randomized to receive placebo, iron-folic acid, zinc, or zinc plus iron-folic acid daily. Data were collected at baseline and at 3-mo intervals for 1 y. The main effects of zinc and iron folic-acid supplementation were estimated for motor and language milestones. Crude and adjusted mean cumulative changes in scores from visits 1 to 5 and adjusted rates of change were modeled. Results: Adjusted differences in motor milestone scores from visits 1 to 5 and rates of change were not significantly different for the zinc and non-zinc groups (adjusted β = -0.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] -1.4 to 0.01; adjusted β = -0.1, 95% CI -0.5 to 0.3, respectively). Motor milestones in children receiving and not receiving iron supplements were not significantly different (adjusted β = 0.1, 95% CI -0.7 to 0.8, from visits 1 to 5; adjusted β = 0.1, 95% CI -0.3 to 0.5, for rate of change). Children receiving zinc had a 0.8 lower mean crude change in language score from visits 1 to 5 compared with children not receiving zinc (95% CI -1.3 to -0.3), but the significance was lost after adjustment (adjusted β = -0.2, 95% CI -0.6 to 0.2, for visits 1 to 5; β = -0.1, 95% CI -0.3 to 0.2, for rate of change). No significant difference in motor or language milestone scores from iron supplementation was observed. Conclusion: After 1 y, neither zinc nor iron-folic acid supplementation in Nepali children improved the attainment of motor or language milestones. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.