TABLE 7

Effects of Zinc Therapy of Acute Diarrhea

ReferenceCountryStool Frequency ReductionProbability of Diarrhea Continuation
Sachdev et al17 (1988)India18% lower frequency9% shorter duration
Sazawal et al31 (1995)India39% lower frequency19% shorter duration
Roy et al30 (1997)Bangladesh28% lower stool output14% reduction in probability
Faruque et al27 (1999)BangladeshNot reported20% reduction in probability
Hidayat et al28 (1998)IndonesiaNot reported11% reduction in probability
Dutta et al26 (2000)India38% lower stool output32% shorter duration
Strand et al32 (2002)Nepal8% lower frequency26% reduction in probability
Bahl et al23 (2002)India17% lower frequency11% reduction in probability
Al-Sonboli et al22 (2003)Brazil59% lower frequencyNot reported
Polat et al29 (2003)Turkey14% lower frequency20% shorter duration
Bhatnagar et al24 (2004)India25% lower stool output30% reduction in probability
Valery et al19 (2005)AustraliaNot reportedNot reported
Brooks et al25 (2005)IndiaNot reported19% reduction in probability, 7% shorter duration
Brooks et al25 (2005)Bangladesh0% lower frequency12% reduction in probability, 0% shorter duration
Baqui et al15 (2002)BangladeshNot reported24% shorter duration
Fischer Walker et al16 (2006)Pakistan, Ethiopia, India5% higher frequency9% shorter duration
  • Average stool frequency reduction = 18.8%; average lowering of stool output = 30.3%; average shortening of duration = 15.0%; average probability of diarrhea reduction = 17.9%. Variances in data reporting of outcome measures: For this meta-analysis, shortening of diarrhea duration was defined as the percentage ratio of the mean number of days of diarrhea in each study group. It was then reported as a shorter percentage of time with diarrhea for one group or the other. Probability of diarrhea duration was calculated by authors using various statistical approaches, such as the odds ratio, risk ratio, or hazards ratio. This difference in statistic negated a comparison in the meta-analysis. Stool frequency reduction was calculated by taking a ratio of the average diarrhea frequency in some studies per 24 hours or by the risk ratio of the mean number of stools in the first 4 days of another study. Lower stool output was calculated, in 2 studies, by taking a ratio of the total stool weight per kilogram of body weight and reporting the median. The ratio of the median was then taken. The resulting percentage was interpreted as a lowering of stool output in one group or the other. In another study, it was reported as the total stool output until the last first formed stool, measured in grams per kilogram for each group. The geometric mean was then taken and a ratio between groups obtained. The group with the lower percentage was interpreted as a lowering of stool output in one group or another.