OBJETIVO: Avaliar o estado nutricional relativo ao zinco de crianças assistidas em creches do Estado da Paraíba. MÉTODOS: O estado nutricional relativo ao zinco de 235 crianças pré-escolares foi avaliado através de sua concentração no soro, da ingestão dietética de zinco e da estatura para idade, como recomendado pelo International Zinc Consultative Group. As concentrações séricas de zinco foram determinadas por espectrofotometria de absorção atômica de chama, considerando deficiência de zinco valores <65µmol/L. O consumo alimentar foi registrado mediante o recordatório de 24 horas, considerando a alimentação da criança no dia anterior e o consumo de alimentos na creche, e foi analisada a inadequação dietética de zinco de acordo com as necessidades médias estimadas de zinco segundo etapa da vida e tipo de dieta estabelecido pelo International Zinc Consultative Group. Adotou-se o Padrão de Crescimento Infantil da Organização Mundial da Saúde para o índice estatura para idade, considerando-se com deficit de estatura as crianças que apresentaram esse índice dois escores-Z abaixo do valor mediano da população de referência. Empregou-se o teste t ou análise de variância na análise estatística, programa Statistical Package for the Social Sciences-16.0. RESULTADOS: As prevalências de deficiência de zinco no soro, inadequação dietética de zinco e deficit de estatura foram de 16,2%, 16,6% e 7,7%, respectivamente. A média de zinco no soro foi estatisticamente menor nas crianças de mães com baixo peso em comparação com as crianças de mães com peso normal. CONCLUSÃO: As crianças estudadas apresentaram risco moderado de deficiência de zinco, pois são indicadas prevalências significativas de baixos níveis séricos de zinco, de consumo inadequado de zinco e de desnutrição crônica.
OBJECTIVE: This study assessed the zinc levels of children attending public daycare centers in the state of Paraíba. Brazil. METHODS: The zinc levels of 235 preschool children were evaluated through serum zinc concentration, dietary zinc intake and height-for-age, as recommended by the International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group. Baseline zinc levels in the serum were measured by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry, considering values <65µmol/L indicative of zinc deficiency. The 24-hour recall method was used to record food consumption, considering the food consumption of the child the day before and in the daycare center. Zinc inadequacy was analyzed according to the estimated average zinc requirement by life stage and diet type recommended by the International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group. The World Health Organization Growth Reference was used as the reference for the height-for-age indices. Children with indices two z-scores below the median value of the reference population were considered stunted. Statistical analysis was performed by the t-test or analysis of variance by the software Statistical Package for the Social Sciences -16.0. RESULTS: The prevalence of inadequate serum zinc concentration, inadequate zinc intakes and stunting were 16.2%, 16.6% and 7.7%, respectively. Mean serum zinc was lower in children of underweight mothers than in children of normal weight mothers. CONCLUSION: The studied children presented moderate risk of zinc deficiency because there was a significant prevalence of low serum zinc concentrations, inadequate zinc intakes and stunting. Also, some children were chronically malnourished.
BACKGROUND: With subclinical infection, serum iron concentrations are reduced, altering the synthesis of hemoglobin, the main indicator of anemia. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between subclinical infection and anemia in children of Paraíba State. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study involving 1116 children aged 6 to 59 months from nine municipalities of Paraíba State. Demographic and socioeconomic data were collected by means of a specific questionnaire. The C-reactive protein and hemoglobin levels were determined by the latex agglutination technique and automated counter, respectively. C-reactive protein values > 6 mg/L were used as indicative of subclinical infection, while the presence of anemia was determined by hemoglobin values < 11.0 g/dL. The data were analyzed using the Epi Info computer program, with significance being set at 5%. RESULTS: Data from this research showed that 80.1% of the children belonged to families that were below the bread line, with per capita income < ½ of the minimum wage at that time (R$ 350.00 approximately US$ 175.00). The prevalences of subclinical infection and anemia were 11.3% and 36.3%, respectively. Subclinical infection was significantly associated with anemia (p-value < 0.05). There were lower levels of hemoglobin in children with C-reactive protein > 6 mg/L, with a mean hemoglobin level in children with subclinical infection of 10.93 g/dL (standard deviation - SD = 1.21 g/dL) and without infection of 11.26 g/dL (SD = 1.18 g/dL) (p-value < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Anemia is associated with subclinical infection in this population, indicating that this is an important variable to be considered in studies of the prevalence of anemia in children.