Zinc supplements for preventing otitis media

ArticleinCochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 4(6):CD006639 · April 2012with15 Reads
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006639.pub3 · Source: PubMed
Background Middle ear infections are common, especially among young children, usually causing earache and some temporary (occasionally permanent) hearing loss. Zinc is an essential micronutrient, which has a role in the optimal functioning of the immune system and resistance to infection. It must be consumed regularly as it cannot be stored in the body. Some people, especially children in low- and middle-income countries, may not have adequate zinc intake from food alone. Researchers have examined the potential role of zinc supplements in preventing infective illnesses. Therefore we wanted to discover whether zinc supplements have any role in preventing middle ear infections. Study characteristics The review authors searched the medical literature for studies up to March 2014. We searched for trials which compared middle ear infections in people randomly selected to receive zinc supplements or who did not receive supplements. We found 10 eligible studies, all conducted amongst young children. The total number of participants was 6820. Nine trials were conducted in low- and middle-income countries. Seven trials were conducted on healthy children. Participants included both males and females. Results The results of the trials provided no convincing evidence that zinc supplements reduce the occurrence of middle ear infections in healthy children. However, in one small study of severely malnourished children, those receiving zinc supplements had fewer middle ear infections. The only adverse effect was vomiting. Quality of evidence The trial evidence included is generally of good quality, with a low risk of bias. All the included trials included otitis media only as a secondary outcome. Therefore, there was a potential to miss trials which were less publicised or less well indexed within the electronic databases.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and Objectives Otitis media (OM) is one of the most common reasons for antibiotic treatment in children. Controversies regarding antibiotic treatment for OM have accumulated in the past decade, and there seem to be more dilemmas than certainties. The objectives of this article are to provide the state-of-the art review on achievements in treatment of all different stages of OM, including acute otitis media (AOM), otitis media with effusion (OME), and chronic suppurative otitis media, and to outline the future research areas. Data Sources PubMed, Ovid Medline, the Cochrane Database, and Clinical Evidence (BMJ Publishing). Review Methods All types of articles related to OM treatment published in English between January 2007 and June 2011 were identified. A total of 286 articles related to OM treatment were reviewed by the panel members; 114 relevant quality articles were identified and summarized. Results New evidence emerged on beneficial results of antibiotic treatment, compared with observation of AOM in young children who were diagnosed based on stringent criteria. In OME, the main results were related to a nonsignificant benefit of adenoidectomy versus tympanostomy tube placement alone in the treatment of chronic OME in younger children. Other modalities of OM treatment were studied and described herein. Conclusions and Implications for Practice Significant progress has been made in advancing the knowledge on the treatment of OM. Areas of potential future research have been identified and outlined.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The critical importance of adequate zinc status to human health, including normal growth and development, is indisputable. The high prevalence of zinc deficiency on a global basis and its importance to public health have been well documented through large-scale randomized controlled zinc supplementation trials. Similar evidence in the clinical setting, however, is much less widely available due to the nonspecific features of zinc deficiency and to the lack of sensitive biomarkers to detect zinc deficiency, especially that of a mild degree of severity. The current understanding of zinc homeostasis indicates that the primary determinants of zinc absorption are the amount of zinc ingested and dietary phytate, the latter having a major effect on zinc bioavailability. In normal as well as in many pathologic conditions, the gastrointestinal tract is the major site of zinc losses resulting from secretion of endogenous zinc into the lumen and subsequent excretion in the feces. The amount excreted is dependent on host status, the amount reabsorbed, and sometimes the presence of pathophysiologic conditions, including diarrhea and steatorrhea. Assessment in the clinical setting dictates that the clinician obtain a careful medical and diet history, recognize clinical presentations in which zinc adequacy may be compromised, and link this risk with nonspecific but plausible manifestations of deficiency. Examples discussed in this article include primary zinc deficiency due to dietary inadequacy (older breastfed infants or toddlers without zinc-rich complementary foods); genetically based deficiency (acrodermatitis enteropathica, acquired zinc deficiency of lactogenic origin), and acquired secondary deficiency in low birth weight and prematurity, gastrointestinal and hepatic disease, and cystic fibrosis. Evidence for efficacy of zinc therapy with pharmacologic doses for two conditions, Wilson's disease and viral upper respiratory infections, is also discussed.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Context: Childhood acute otitis media (AOM) is highly prevalent. Its usual sequela of middle ear effusion (MEE) can lead to conductive hearing loss, for which surgery is commonly used. Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of an osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) protocol on MEE resolution following an episode of AOM. The authors hypothesized that OMT provided adjunctively to standard care for young children with AOM would reduce the duration of MEE following the onset of AOM. Methods: We compared standard care only (SCO) and standard care plus OMT (SC+OMT) for the duration of MEE following AOM. Patients were aged 6 months to 2 years. The SC+OMT group received OMT during 3 weekly visits. Weekly tympanometric and acoustic reflectometer (AR) readings were obtained from all patients. Results: There were 52 patients enrolled, with 43 completing the study and 9 dropping out. No demographic differences were noted. Only ears from each patient with abnormal tympanograms at entry were included. There were 76 ears in the tympanogram analysis (38 from SCO; 38 from SC+OMT) and 61 ears in the AR data analysis (31 from SCO; 30 from SC+OMT). Dependence of bilateral ear disease noted in AR readings was accounted for in statistical analysis. Tympanogram data demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in MEE at visit 3 in patients in the SC+OMT group (odds ratio, 2.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.16, 7.62; χ2 test for independence, P=.02). The AR data analysis showed statistically significant improvement at visit 3 for the SC+OMT group (z=2.05; P=.02). There was no statistically significant change in MEE before or immediately after the OMT protocol. Conclusion: A standardized OMT protocol administered adjunctively with standard care for patients with AOM may result in faster resolution of MEE following AOM than standard treatment alone. (Clinical Trials.gov number NCT00520039.)
    Article · Jun 2014
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