Article Text

  1. B. M. Paulus1,
  2. S. K. Bhattacharya1,
  3. P. L. Johnson1,
  4. M. D. Nelson1,
  5. K. P. Newman1,
  6. K. T. Weber1
  1. 1University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN.


Purpose Zn and Se are micronutrients that play numerous biologic roles in many tissues, including their contribution to antioxidant defenses provided by oxidoreductases Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase and Se-glutathione peroxidase. Dietary deficiencies of Zn and Se have each been associated with the appearance of a dilated, often reversible, cardiomyopathy. Preliminary studies in 40 African Americans (AAs) with heart failure suggested the presence of hypozincemia in 60% and hyposelenemia in 82% (J Invest Med 2006;54 Suppl 1:S302). Herein we report on serum Zn and Se levels in 75 AAs: 61 with CHF and 14 without heart failure.

Methods and Results In AAs followed at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, we monitored serum Zn (normal 75-140 μg/dL) and Se (normal 85-125 μg/L): 20 (12 M, 8 F; 53.5 ± 2.7 years) were hospitalized with decompensated failure of protracted (D ≥ 4 weeks) duration and 23 (16 M, 7 F; 49.7 ± 2.6 years) were inpatients with CHF of shorter duration (D 1-2 wks) due to either a dilated or ischemic cardiomyopathy with reduced ejection fraction (< 35%) and who were treated with an ACE inhibitor, furosemide and spironolactone; 18 outpatients (13 M, 5 F; 51.3 ± 2.5 years) with compensated (Comp) failure and comparable EF and medical therapy; and 14 (8 M, 6 F; 55.0 ± 3.2 years) outpatients without heart failure (normal EF) who served as controls (Cont). We found (mean ± SEM):

Hypozincemia and hyposelenemia were respectively prevalent in AAs: 70% and 100% with D ≥ 4 weeks, 74% and 96% with D 1-2 weeks, 61% and 94% with Comp failure, and 79% and 100% Cont.

Conclusions Hypozincemia and especially hyposelenemia are prevalent in AAs with either compensated or decompensated heart failure and those without heart failure. The origins of Zn and Se dyshomeostasis in AA living in Memphis remain to be elucidated.

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