Project: We studied the relationship between selenium (Se) levels and chronic liver disease (CLD) severity and the association between socioeconomic and lifestyle factors and serum Se levels.
Procedure: We performed a case-control study in Hungarian men, examining 281 patients with CLD and 778 controls. Liver function was evaluated using biochemical markers, and liver disease was verified with physical examination and blood tests. Linear regression analysis was performed to study the association of serum Se level with biochemical markers in cases and controls. In control participants we examined the relationship between Se levels and age, financial status, education, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, type of fat used for cooking and body mass index.
Results: Serum Se levels were lower in cases (median 0.87 μmol/L (IQR: 0.77-1.03)) than in controls (median 1.08 μmol/L (IQR: 0.97-1.19)). In controls, increases in bilirubin and glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT) were associated with decreases in Se levels. In patients with CLD, a statistically significant relationship was found between serum Se and the GOT/GPT ratio, albumin and bilirubin. Younger, better-educated controls had significantly higher, and regular smokers and heavy drinkers had significantly lower Se levels. The use of vegetable oil/fat was also associated with higher Se levels. Se level was associated with the severity of liver injury in people even in patients who did not exhibit signs and symptoms of CLD.
Conclusions: Serum Se level is strongly associated with the severity of liver damage in people with CLD from the early stage on.
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