The authors of this article suggested the overcome
of zinc deficiency can contribute to reducing the infection frequency and
hospitalization due to severe sick cell crisis of SCD patients. The experiment
was conducted in randomized controlled trial (RCT) method. Total of 32 participated
adult patients (19- to 49-year-old) with SCD were divided into three groups. Group
A and Group B patients were deficient in zinc level, while Group C patients
were sufficient as the control group. During the 4 years of experiment, group A
and B were observed for 1 year. Then group A was given zinc acetate and intake
daily for 3 years; while group B took placebo for the first one year, then took
zinc acetate on a daily basis for 2 years. Participants’ physiological statues
were tightly monitored in order to evaluate different outcomes and they were
also given copper orally to avoid side-effect associated with long-term zinc supplementation.

Clinical stuff in these procedures were blinded. The conclusion resulted robustly
supported the initial proposal.

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As the measurements indicated, there was a
significant increase in plasma zinc concentration for patients took supplements,
compared to those who took placeboes. Also, as expected, the significant
decreases in the frequency of pain crisis, hospital admission, and infection
were also found when comparing group A and B with the control group. This
conclusion undoubtedly confirms researchers’ assumption and address the
importance of zinc in SCD patients. Yet, this trial might also have exposed
under risk of bias. For instance, the participants were just instructed and
took supplements themselves. It could be hard to tell whether they followed the
instruction or not. Furthermore, the article did not explain double-blinding in
more details, and how the SCD patients were selected. All of these minor
defects might compromise the accuracy and potency of the conclusion. 


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