Metoprolol oxidation polymorphism in a Korean population: comparison with native Japanese and Chinese populations

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1991 Oct;32(4):504-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.1991.tb03939.x.


We examined metoprolol oxidation capacity in 218 unrelated, healthy Korean subjects using the 8 h urinary metabolic ratio (MR) of metoprolol to alpha-hydroxymetoprolol after an oral dose of 100 mg metoprolol tartrate. The results were compared with those from 295 Japanese and 107 mainland Chinese whose metoprolol oxidation capacities were assessed in a similar manner. The frequency of occurrence of poor metabolisers (PMs) was 0.5% (1/218) in the Korean, 0.7% (2/295) in the Japanese and 0% in the Chinese population. However, the respective mean (+/- s.d.) MRs (0.84 +/- 1.14 and 0.87 +/- 0.90) in the Korean and Japanese extensive metabolisers (EMs) were significantly (P less than 0.001) less than that in the Chinese EMs (2.81 +/- 2.35), and the mode of the distribution histogram and the probit plot of data for Chinese EMs were shifted to the right compared with those for Korean and Japanese EMs. The results indicate that Koreans, like Japanese and mainland Chinese, have a much lower frequency of the PM phenotype of debrisoquine/sparteine-type oxidation compared with that reported for Caucasian populations. Chinese EMs appear to have a lower capacity to metabolise metoprolol to alpha-hydroxymetoprolol compared with Korean or Japanese EMs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asian People*
  • China
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Male
  • Metoprolol / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Genetic


  • Metoprolol