The role of trace elements in asthma has been discussed in literature but the exact etiology is still not clear. We evaluated the relationship of serum zinc levels and absolute eosinophil count with the type of asthma (extrinsic or intrinsic) in this study.
We evaluated serum zinc levels and absolute eosinophil count in 96 cases of asthma (61 patients were of intrinsic asthma and 35 were from extrinsic asthma) . Classification was done on basis of history, age of onset, atopic manifestations and IgE levels. Cases who suffered from any co-morbid illness e.g., diabetes, hypertension, any co-existing respiratory illness were excluded from the study.
Mean serum zinc levels in extrinsic and intrinsic asthma were 87.6 ± 16.59 μg/dL and 95.57 ± 18.79 μg/dL respectively. The levels in extrinsic asthma group were lower than in intrinsic asthma group (p < 0.05). The median values of absolute eosinophil count were 395 per mm3 and 405 per mm3 in extrinsic asthma and intrinsic asthma group respectively, the difference in which was not statistically significant (p > 0.05).
Mean serum zinc levels were lower in extrinsic asthma group as compared to intrinsic asthma group. There was no statistically significant difference in absolute eosinophil count between extrinsic asthma and intrinsic asthma groups.
Zinc deficiency might be contributory to the pathogenesis of extrinsic asthma. Further studies are needed with a larger sample size to reach a definite conclusion.
Alkesh Khurana, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information