ASSESSING THE ROLE OF ZINC IN COVID-19 INFECTIONS AND MORTALITY: IS ZINC DEFICIENCY A RISK FACTOR FOR COVID-19?

Abstract

Variables responsible for the differential COVID-19 pandemic severity among countries remain undefined. Zinc, a micronutrient required for immunocompetence, is found deficient in populations. We hypothesized the differential COVID-19 severity observed among European countries could be associated with the Zn-deficiency prevalence. The COVID-19 data from different stages of pandemic i.e., 8 April, 12 and 26 May 2020, were analyzed for covariation with the estimated Zn-deficiency. A significant, relatively stable, but negative correlation of Zn-deficiency with cases per million for the time period (r(20): -0.4930 to -0.5335, p-value: 0.02720 to 0.0154) and a steady improvement of covariation with deaths per million (r(20): -0.4056; p-value: 0.0760 on 26 May 2020) was observed. Considering, Zinc ′s key immunomodulatory role, widespread deficiency along with the self- and prescribed intervention in different target groups, e.g. children, women, elderly, carefully planned dedicated exploratory studies to understand the basis of the observed association are advisable.

Competing Interest Statement

The authors have declared no competing interest.

Funding Statement

SS acknowledges the funding support from Banaras Hindu University to his laboratory. No external funding specific to this work was received

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I confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained.

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The details of the IRB/oversight body that provided approval or exemption for the research described are given below:

Not Applicable

All necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived.

Yes

I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as ClinicalTrials.gov. I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).

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I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable.

Yes

Data Availability

All data is available in the manuscript.

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