Zinc deficiency is highly prevalent and spatially dependent over short distances in Ethiopia

Belay, Adamu; Gashu, Dawd; Joy, Edward J. M.; Lark, R. Murray; Chagumaira, Christopher; Likoswe, Blessings H.; Zerfu, Dilnesaw; Ander, E. Louise; Young, Scott D.; Bailey, Elizabeth H.; Broadley, Martin R.. 2021 Zinc deficiency is highly prevalent and spatially dependent over short distances in Ethiopia. Scientific Reports, 11 (1), 6510.

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Zinc (Zn) is an essential nutrient for human health. In Ethiopia, a high prevalence of Zn deficiency has been reported. To explore demographic variation and spatial dependencies in the Zn status of the Ethiopian population, we analyzed archived serum samples (n = 3373) from the 2015 Ethiopian National Micronutrient Survey (ENMS), a cross-sectional survey of young children, school-age children, women of reproductive age (WRA) and men conducted in all 9 regions and two city administration of Ethiopia. Serum Zn concentrations, measured using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICPMS), were compared to thresholds based on age, sex, fasting status, and time of blood collection, after adjusting for inflammation status. Median serum Zn concentration of the population was 57.5 μg dL−1. Overall, it is estimated that 72% of the population was Zn deficient, with high prevalence in all demographic groups. Spatial statistical analysis showed that there was spatial dependence in Zn status of WRA at distances of up to 45 km. Zinc deficiency is spatially dependent over short distances. Although WRA in most areas are likely to be Zn deficient, prevalence of deficiency varies at regional scale and between rural and urban inhabitants, suggesting there is scope to explore drivers of this variation, prioritize nutritional interventions, and to design more representative surveillance programs.

Item Type: Publication - Article
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ISSN: 2045-2322
Date made live: 05 May 2021 12:27 +0 (UTC)

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