Relationship between serum selenium, sociodemographic variables, other trace elements and lipid profile in an adult Spanish population

J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2017 Sep;43:93-105. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2016.12.002. Epub 2017 Jan 3.


Introduction: Several studies have shown an inverse relationship between selenium status and cardiovascular health, although epidemiologic evidence yielded by the randomized trials did not find a beneficial effect of selenium administration. The aim of this study was to analyze the association between serum selenium levels and lipid profile adjusted by age, sex and other associated factors among a general adult population in Spain.

Materials and methods: We recruited 372 hospital employee volunteers (60 men and 312 women) with a mean age of 47 (SD: 10.9), whom were given a standardized questionnaire. Serum selenium concentration was measured by electrothermal atomization atomic absorption spectrometry. Serum copper and zinc concentrations were measured using flame atomic absorption spectrometry.

Results: The mean of serum selenium was 79.5μg/L (SD: 11.7) with no sex-dependent differences. In the multivariate linear regression analysis, the associated factors with the mean levels of selenium were: age (β=0.223; CI 95%: 0.101-0.345), p<0.001; widowhood (β=-9.668; CI 95%: -17.234 to -2.102), p=0.012; calcium supplements (β=3.949; CI 95%: 0.059-7.838), p=0.047; zinc (β=0.126; CI 95%: 0.013-0.238), p=0.028 and glucose (β=0.172; CI 95%: 0.062- 0.281), p=0.002; Participants with serum selenium≥79.5μg/L were 1.98 (OR=1.98; CI 95% 1.17-3.35; p=0.011) and 2.04 times (OR=2.04; CI 95% 1.06-3.97; p=0.034) more likely to have cholesterol ≥200mg/dL and LDL-c ≥100mg/dL respectively than those with serum selenium <79.5μg/L.

Conclusions: Higher selenium was positively associated with increased total and LDL cholesterol but not with HDL-c and triglycerides. More studies are needed in order to confirm the lower serum selenium findings in widows.

Keywords: Adults; Cholesterol; Lipids; Selenium; Triglycerides; Zinc.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Selenium / blood*
  • Spain
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Trace Elements / blood*
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Zinc / blood


  • Lipids
  • Trace Elements
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol
  • Selenium
  • Zinc