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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Population patterns of hair zinc, dietary and socio-demographic determinants Vaghri, Ziba


Marginal zinc deficiency (MZD) exists in children of industrialized societies and can impair growth and development. Presently there are no data available on its global prevalence. It is believed that MZD is one of the most common hidden deficiencies throughout the world. This is partly because of the lack of sensitivity and specificity of serum zinc, the most commonly used biomarker of zinc status, to detect MZD . This deficiency in children is always accompanied by a decrease in hair zinc . Although in research settings hair zinc is a recognized biomarker of MZD in children, health practitioners do not presently use it. These cross-sectional studies were designed to examine the hair zinc status of preschoolers in Vancouver . They also aimed at exploring some dietary and non-dietary factors associated with hair zinc status in an attempt to construct and validate a screening tool for detection of MZD. Our first study indicated a mean hair zinc of 75±30 μg/g, with 46% below the cutoff (

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