The relationship between serum levels of Zn and Cu and severity of coronary atherosclerosis

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2011 Dec;144(1-3):436-44. doi: 10.1007/s12011-011-9123-9. Epub 2011 Jul 1.


The essential trace elements play important roles in the maintainance of the normal structure and physiology of cells. Several research groups have demonstrated that they also play important roles in states of cardiovascular diseases. Our aim is to investigate whether there is a relationship between trace elements (Zn and Cu) and the degree of atherosclerosis. The sample consisted of 67 patients with coronary artery disease and 26 clinically healthy individuals. Ninety-three subjects were separated into four groups according to their Gensini scores, the number of diseased vessels, the presence of acute coronary syndrome, and ejection fraction. Each group was divided into three subgroups, and serum zinc and copper levels were measured for each individual. The serum levels of zinc and copper were found to be significantly lower in patients with atherosclerosis than in the control group, but there were no significant differences in the serum levels of Cu and Zn between severe atherosclerosis and mild atherosclerosis. In Spearman's rank correlation, the zinc and copper levels were correlated with the Gensini score and the number of diseased vessels. The present study revealed a relationship between the serum levels of zinc and copper and atherosclerosis, but not between these levels and the severity of the disease.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / blood
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Aged
  • Copper / blood*
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Artery Disease / blood*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Vessels / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Vessels / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic
  • Ultrasonography
  • Zinc / blood*


  • Lipids
  • Copper
  • Zinc