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Volume 2014, Article ID 125452, 6 pages
Research Article

Assessment of Serum Zinc Levels of Patients with Thalassemia Compared to Their Siblings

1Cure2Children Foundation, Via Marconi 30, 50131 Florence, Italy
2Children’s Hospital Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad, Pakistan

Received 31 January 2014; Accepted 5 August 2014; Published 14 August 2014

Academic Editor: Aurelio Maggio

Copyright © 2014 Mohamed El Missiry et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Zinc (Zn) is essential for appropriate growth and proper immune function, both of which may be impaired in thalassemia children. Factors that can affect serum Zn levels in these patients may be related to their disease or treatment or nutritional causes. We assessed the serum Zn levels of children with thalassemia paired with a sibling. Zn levels were obtained from 30 children in Islamabad, Pakistan. Serum Zn levels and anthropometric data measures were compared among siblings. Thalassemia patients’ median age was 4.5 years (range 1–10.6 years) and siblings was 7.8 years (range 1.1–17 years). The median serum Zn levels for both groups were within normal range: 100 μg/dL (10 μg/dL–297 μg/dL) for patients and 92 μg/dL (13 μg/dL–212 μg/dL) for siblings. There was no significant difference between the two groups. Patients’ serum Zn values correlated positively with their corresponding siblings (, ). There were no correlations between patients’ Zn levels, height for age Z-scores, serum ferritin levels, chelation, or blood counts (including both total leukocyte and absolute lymphocyte counts). Patients’ serum Zn values correlated with their siblings’ values. In this study, patients with thalassemia do not seem to have disease-related Zn deficiency.