Selenium deficiency and miscarriage: a possible link?

Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1996 Feb;103(2):130-2. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.1996.tb09663.x.


Objective: To investigate a possible relationship between a deficiency in serum selenium concentration and first trimester miscarriage.

Design: An observational study.

Setting: A teaching hospital in South Wales.

Participants and methods: Serum selenium, albumin and total protein concentration were measured in 40 women admitted with first trimester nonrecurrent miscarriage. The results were compared with an equal number of age-matched nonpregnant healthy volunteers, and also from 40 pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic for booking in the first trimester.

Results: A reduction in serum selenium normally occurs in the first trimester of pregnancies that progress to term. However, a further statistically highly significant decrease in serum selenium was observed in those women who miscarried.

Conclusion: Further studies are required to assess the potential benefits of selenium supplements.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / etiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Proteins / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Selenium / deficiency*
  • Serum Albumin / analysis


  • Blood Proteins
  • Serum Albumin
  • Selenium