We sought to determine the effects of maternal zinc supplementation on skin infections among infants in poor urban areas of Dhaka, Bangladesh. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial was conducted among 199 and 221 Bangladeshi infants whose mothers were administered 30 mg daily of zinc or placebo, respectively. The mothers received zinc supplementation from 12-16 weeks' gestation until delivery, and the infants were followed up until 6 months of age. Among the infants of mothers who received zinc supplementation during the antenatal period, 10.6% had at least 1 episode of impetigo compared with 19.6% of the infants of mothers in the placebo group (P = 0.01). Infants in the treatment group had a 54% reduction in incidence rate of episodes of impetigo when compared with infants in the placebo group (P = 0.01). The effect of zinc supplementation was more pronounced among male infants (64% reduction) and intrauterine growth restricted and low birth weight infants (73% reduction) and among infants of mothers with increased parity (60% reduction) or decreased socioeconomic status (71% reduction).
- placebo-controlled trial
- birth-weight infants