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Original research
Zinc concentration in preterm newborns at term age, a prospective observational study
  1. Rosmari Vázquez-Gomis1,
  2. Vicente Bosch-Gimenez2,
  3. Mercedes Juste-Ruiz3,
  4. Consuelo Vázquez-Gomis1,
  5. Ignacio Izquierdo-Fos1,
  6. José Pastor-Rosado1
  1. 1 Pediatrics, Hospital General Universitario de Elche, Elche, Spain
  2. 2 Pediatrics, Virgen de la Arrixaca Clinic University Hospital, Murcia, Spain
  3. 3 Pediatrics, Hospital Universitario de San Juan de Alicante, Sant Joan d'Alacant, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rosmari Vázquez-Gomis; rosvazquezgomis{at}


Objectives To determine zinc concentrations and associated factors in a population of preterm newborns at term age.

Design This analytical, descriptive, observational and prospective study was conducted in the neonatal unit of a tertiary hospital. Preterm newborn between gestational weeks 24 and 34 were included in the study. The patients were recruited close to the date of birth. Their clinical histories were collected, and the serum zinc concentrations (SZCs) at gestational weeks 37–41 were measured. This study aimed to measure SZC in a population of preterm newborns at term age, and analyse the anthropometric, clinical and nutritional parameters associated with a decrease in SZC.

Results Overall, 83 preterm subjects were evaluated, including 44 (53%) female infants and 39 (47%) male infants. The median period of gestation was 31 (IQ25–IQ75: 29–33) weeks, and the mean weight at birth was 1.523±0.535 kg. The median SZC at term was 4.4 (IQ25–IQ75: 2.6–6.9) µmol/L. There were some variables associated with zinc concentrations like bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), weight at birth, z-score of length at discharge, being small for gestational age and treatment with recombinant human erythropoietin, although the unique variable that was independent of the other variables in the multivariate analysis (p 0.01) was BPD. Preterm newborn with BPD had lower SZC at term age than those without (2.7 vs 4.9 µmol/L, p 0.005).

Conclusions Zinc concentrations in this preterm population were low. BPD was significantly and negatively correlated with zinc concentrations.

Clinical trial registration NCT03532555.

  • Neonatology

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  • Contributors RV-G conceived and developed the present job. VB developed and directed the present proyect. MJ disigned and directed the job. CVG contribuited to the analysis. II-F helped in the statiscal analisis. JP-R directed the job and supervised results.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication All data were collected and stored and written informed consent was obtained from the parents/guardians.

  • Ethics approval All experimental procedures were performed in accordance with the ethical guidelines of the Declaration of Helsinki and the study was approved by the Institutional Research Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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