Objective: To determine the association between current zinc intake and prevalence of coronary artery disease (CAD) and diabetes as well as factors associated with insulin resistance.
Design, subjects and methods: In this cross sectional survey, 3575 subjects, aged 25 to 64 years, including 1769 rural (894 men. 875 women) and 1806 urban (904 men, 902 women) subjects were studied. The survey methods included questionnaires for 7-day food intake record, physical examination, and electrocardiography using World Health Organization criteria.
Results: The prevalence of CAD, diabetes and glucose intolerance was significantly higher among subjects consuming lower intakes of dietary zinc. There was a higher prevalence of hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels which showed significant upward trend with lower zinc intakes. Serum lipoprotein (a) and 2-hour plasma insulin levels also were associated with low zinc intake. Multivariate logistic regression analysis after adjustment for age showed that zinc intake and CAD were inversely associated. Serum zinc (odds ratio:men 0.77, women 0.57), serum triglycerides (men 0.86, women 0.81), blood pressure (0.83 men, women 0.76), diabetes mellitus (men 0.90, women 0.85), central obesity (men 0.88, women 0.87), glucose intolerance (men 0.66, women 0.57) and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (men 0.72, women 0.70) were significant risk factors for CAD (explained by tertiles of zinc status) in urban subjects. These associations were not observed in rural subjects.
Conclusion: Lower consumption of dietary zinc and low serum zinc levels were associated with an increased prevalence of CAD and diabetes and several of their associated risk factors including hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia and other factors suggestive of mild insulin resistance in urban subjects.