, Volume 61, Issue 1, pp 61-70

Zinc and copper concentrations in serum from Spanish women during pregnancy

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A cross-sectional study of serum zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) levels in 31 healthy pregnant women and 51 healthy, nonpregnant controls living in the Mediterranean area of Granada, Spain, was performed. The subjects were divided into two groups: Group A, consisted of pregnant women in three categories according to the trimester of pregnancy, and Group B consisted of nonpregnant women acting as controls.

In pregnant women, serum Zn levels were found from 0.300-1.340 mg/L and serum Cu from 0.936-2.304 mg/L, whereas in the nonpregnant women group, the mean serum levels were 0.947 ±0.265 mg/L for Zn and 1.092 ±0.365 mg/L for Cu. Serum Zn progressively decreased with gestation. Mean Zn levels were 0.829 ±0.253, 0.846 ±0.329, and 0.620 ±0.142 mg/L, corresponding to the first, second, and third trimesters of pregnancy, respectively.

Serum Zn concentrations were significantly lower in pregnant women as compared to controls: 0.712 ±0.236 mg/L vs 0.947 ±0.265 mg/L, respectively (p < 0.05).

In contrast, Cu levels increased with period of gestation from 1.053 ±0.498 mg/L in the first trimester to 1.616 ±0.304 mg/L in the second and 1.689 ±0.344 mg/L in the third. Serum Cu levels in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those determined during the first trimester and for nonpregnant controls. Both Zn and Cu during pregnancy did not appear to be dependent on the subject’s age (p > 0.05).