Concentrations of seven trace elements in different hematological matrices in patients with type 2 diabetes as compared to healthy controls

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2001 Mar;79(3):205-19. doi: 10.1385/BTER:79:3:205.


This study aimed to compare the trace element status of patients with type 2 diabetes (n = 53) with those of nondiabetic healthy controls (n = 50). The concentrations of seven trace elements were determined in the whole blood, blood plasma, erythrocytes, and lymphocytes of the study subjects. Vanadium and iron levels in lymphocytes were significantly higher in diabetic patients as compared to controls (p < 0.05 for iron and p < 0.01 for vanadium). In contrast, lower manganese (p < 0.01) and selenium (p < 0.01) concentrations were detected in lymphocytes derived from patients with type 2 diabetes versus healthy subjects. Furthermore, significantly lower chromium levels (p < 0.05) were found in the plasma of diabetic individuals as compared to controls. Trace element concentrations were not dependent on the degree of glucose control as determined by correlation analysis between HBA1c versus metal levels in the four blood fractions. In summary, this study primarily demonstrated that trace element levels in lymphocytes of patients with type 2 diabetes could deviate significantly from controls, whereas, in general, no considerable differences could be found when comparing the other fractions between both patient groups. Therefore, it seems reasonable to analyze metal levels in leukocytes to determine trace element status in patients with type 2 diabetes and perhaps in other diseases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chromium / analysis
  • Copper / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Iron / analysis
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Manganese / analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Selenium / analysis
  • Trace Elements / analysis*
  • Trace Elements / metabolism
  • Vanadium / analysis
  • Zinc / analysis


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Trace Elements
  • Vanadium
  • Chromium
  • Manganese
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Selenium
  • Zinc