Effect of micronutrient supplementation on height velocity of underprivileged girls in comparison with un-supplemented healthy controls

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Mar;27(3-4):245-52. doi: 10.1515/jpem-2013-0352.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of 1-year micronutrient supplementation on the height velocity of underprivileged premenarchal girls in comparison with the natural growth of apparently healthy girls from an affluent class. A 1-year cluster-randomisation intervention trial was conducted in 119 premenarchal girls (8-12 years) from two schools catering to the lower socioeconomic strata (LSES) in Pune, India. Three classes of age-matched girls were randomly allocated to any one of the three intervention groups: (i) Ca+MZn+D group (C1: zinc, 15 mg/day+multivitamins; calcium, 500 mg/day; vitamin D, 30,000 IU/3 months); (ii) Ca+D group (C2: calcium, 500 mg/day; vitamin D, 30,000 IU/3 months); and (iii) M+D group (C3: multivitamins; vitamin D, 30,000 IU/3 months). Height, weight, and Tanner stage were assessed at baseline and endline. A total of 119 age-matched, apparently healthy school girls from a higher socioeconomic group (HSES) were assessed for their growth after 1 year without any supplementation. At baseline, mean height-for-age Z-scores and weight-for-age Z-scores by Indian references were >-2 in 99% of HSES girls and 28% of LSES girls had height-for-age Z-scores <-2. Post-intervention, increase in height-for-age Z-scores adjusted for Tanner stage was significantly higher in the Ca+MZn+D group (0.32±0.06) than in the respective age-matched controls (C1 group) (-0.02±0.05) (p<0.05) as well as in both the Ca+D group (0.18±0.06) and the M+D group (0.14±0.04) (p<0.05). After adjusting for Tanner stage, height velocity was significantly higher for the Ca+MZn+D group (6.7±0.4 cm/year) than for the M+D group (6.1±0.2), Ca+D group (5.6±0.5) as well as age-matched controls (C1 group) (5.0±0.3) (p<0.05). Supplementation with calcium+vitamin D, zinc and multivitamins may be effective in improving stature in underprivileged Indian premenarchal girls.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Body Height*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Social Class