American Journal of Infectious Diseases

The Effect of Zinc and "Health Belief Model" Based Education on Common Cold Prevention in Soldiers

Arash Pooya, Ahmad Mahmoudian, Mohamad Mahdi Hazavei, Ziba Farajzadegan and Mohammad Arash Ramezani

DOI : 10.3844/ajidsp.2006.193.196

American Journal of Infectious Diseases

Volume 2, Issue 4

Pages 193-196


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of "Zinc" & "Health Belief model" based education on viral upper respiratory tract infections in soldiers in Isfahan - 2004 - 2005. It was a double - blinded randomized controlled trial, which was done among a group of soldiers by census. Soldiers were randomly divided into four groups. On the other hand four preventive measures were assumed regarding presence of education and zinc prescription, which were randomly allocated to four groups. Subsequently education was performed to change the health behavior of soldiers. Meanwhile tablets were distributed among all groups of soldiers. Data regarding incidence and duration of symptoms were gathered by different questionnaires filled by soldiers themselves and doctors and finally analyzed by SPSS 11.5 software through χ2, t-test and logistic regression. Common cold incidence in groups receiving zinc vs. placebo was significantly less. (P=0.001). Groups, which received education comparing to those, which didn’t, were statistically the same ‘regarding the incidence of common cold (P=0.37). Mean duration of symptoms was less in groups receiving zinc comparing to the groups, which received placebo as it was similar regarding education (P=0.007, 0.01). All of all ‘this study showed that zinc consumption can decrease the incidence and duration of common cold. Education could promote some preventive behaviors and compliance to tablet consumption but had no effect on incidence. Decreased incidence by zinc consumption could be in part related to education through increased compliance for tablet consumption.


© 2006 Arash Pooya, Ahmad Mahmoudian, Mohamad Mahdi Hazavei, Ziba Farajzadegan and Mohammad Arash Ramezani. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.