A low plasma selenium is a risk factor for peripartum cardiomyopathy. A comparative study in Sahelian Africa

Int J Cardiol. 1992 Jul;36(1):57-9. doi: 10.1016/0167-5273(92)90108-f.


A specific selenium deficiency is a risk factor for Keshan disease, an endemic cardiomyopathy observed in China. In a Sahelian area of Niger, plasma selenium concentration was measured by neutronic activation and particle induced X-ray emission in 35 black African women with peripartum cardiomyopathy and 36 breast-feeding women without cardiac failure as controls. The plasma selenium concentration in patients was lower (48 +/- 25 ng/ml, mean +/- standard deviation) than in controls (77 +/- 16 ng/ml) (P less than 0.0001). Moreover, 40% (14/35) patients with peripartum cardiomyopathy had very low plasma selenium concentrations, below 45 ng/ml, versus none in controls. A low plasma selenium concentration is a risk factor for the Sahelian peripartum cardiomyopathy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cardiomyopathies / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Niger
  • Pregnancy
  • Puerperal Disorders / blood*
  • Risk Factors
  • Selenium / blood*


  • Selenium