Experimental and clinical studies have established that zinc metabolism is altered in individuals with Down syndrome (DS). The present study intends to evaluate the nutritional status of zinc in children with DS by determining their biochemical and dietary parameters. The investigation was carried out on a group of children with DS (n=35) and compared with a control group (n=33), both aging between 4 and 11 years. Weight-for-age, height-for-age, and weight-for-height indexes and diet were evaluated by using a 3-day dietary record. Zinc was evaluated in plasma, erythrocytes, and 24-h urine collection by using the method of atomic absorption spectroscopy. The frequency of short stature was higher in children with DS. Both groups presented high protein content, adequate concentrations of lipids and carbohydrates, and deficit in calories. Adequate zinc intake was observed in 40% of children with DS and in 67% of the control group. Zinc concentrations were significantly lower in plasma and urine and higher in erythrocytes of children with DS. The results allowed us to conclude that the altered zinc nutritional status of individuals with Down syndrome contributes to clinical disturbances that usually appear with aging in these patients.
- Down syndrome
- Nutritional status