Low levels of zinc can cause severe Covid-19 outcomes: Study

Prashasti Awasthi | | Updated on: Sep 25, 2020
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Higher zinc levels were associated with lower maximum levels of interleukin-6 during the period of active infection

According to a recent study published on the ‘European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases’ official website, low levels of zinc in the blood can lead to severe outcomes for coronavirus positive patients. This can also increase the risk of death.

For the study, researchers investigated whether plasma zinc levels at admission are associated with disease outcomes in coronavirus patients.

Also read: Covid-19 can cause kidney damage: Study

The authors wrote in their study that the increased intracellular zinc concentrations efficiently impair the replication/reproduction of a number of viruses. However, the effect of plasma zinc levels on SARS-COV-2 is not yet understood.

The researchers carried out a retrospective analysis of symptomatic patients admitted to a tertiary university hospital in Barcelona between March 15 and April 30.

Pre-existing conditions

Researchers further collected the information on pre-existing health conditions and demography. The severity of Covid-19 cases was assessed at the time of admission.

Also read: This is why Covid-19 could be life-threatening for some patients

Researchers found that higher zinc levels were associated with lower maximum levels of interleukin-6 (proteins that indicate systemic inflammation) during the period of active infection.

The authors conclude: “Lower zinc levels at admission correlate with higher inflammation in the course of infection and poorer outcome. Plasma zinc levels at admission are associated with mortality in Covid-19 in our study. Further studies are needed to assess the therapeutic impact of this association.”

Published on September 25, 2020

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