About half of patients with inflammatory bowel disease have zinc deficiency

About half of patients with inflammatory bowel disease have zinc deficiency

The prevalence of zinc deficiency is about 50 percent in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and is higher in patients with Crohn disease (CD) than those with ulcerative colitis (UC)

Roberta Zupo, from the National Institute of Gastroenterology “Saverio de Bellis” in Italy, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the prevalence of zinc deficiency in IBD. Nine articles met the inclusion criteria, which included 17 prevalence entries for CD and UC (nine and eight, respectively).

The researchers found that across selected studies, the prevalence of zinc deficiency showed higher values in CD than in UC. In pooled analyses, the overall mean zinc deficiency prevalence was 54 percent in the CD population compared with 41 percent in the UC population. At meta-analysis, the overall prevalence was estimated at 50 percent, with high heterogeneity (I2, 96 percent). There was no evidence of publication bias. Across selected studies, the risk for bias was moderate to low.

“The present research highlights the importance of considering zinc as a micronutrient to be monitored, because every second IBD patient shows a deficiency,” the authors write. “According to our results, zinc deficiency is more prevalent in the CD population, probably due to the more severely malabsorptive nature of this condition and also in light of the proximal site of zinc absorption in the intestine.”

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