Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 143, Issue 3, pp 1349–1366 | Cite as

Evaluation of Essential Trace and Toxic Elements in Scalp Hair Samples of Smokers and Alcohol User Hypertensive Patients

  • Hassan Imran Afridi
  • Dermot Brabazon
  • Tasneem Gul Kazi
  • Sumsun Naher


The incidence of hypertension has been associated to cigarette smoking and consumption of alcohol. In the present study, trace and toxic elements were determined in scalp hair of patients diagnosed with hypertension who are smokers and habitual alcohol drinkers living in Dublin, Ireland. These results were compared with age- and sex-matched healthy, nonsmokers, nondrinking controls. The concentrations of trace and toxic elements were measured by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrophotometer after microwave-assisted acid digestion. The validity and accuracy of the methodology were checked using certified reference material (NCS ZC 81002b) and by the conventional wet acid digestion method on the same certified reference material and on real samples. The recovery of all the studied elements was found to be in the range of 97.5%–99.7% in certified reference material. The results of this study showed that the mean values of cadmium, copper, iron, nickel and lead were significantly higher in scalp hair samples of both smoker and nonsmoker hypertensive patients than referents (P < 0.001); whereas, the concentration of zinc was lower in the scalp hair samples of hypertensive patients of both genders. The deficiency of zinc and the high exposure of trace and toxic metals as a result of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption may be synergistic with risk factors associated with hypertension.


Scalp hair Cigarette smokers Alcohol drinking Toxic elements Copper Iron Zinc Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrophotometer 



Dr. Hassan Imran Afridi is grateful to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan for providing the scholarships for the post doctoral research work. Dr. H.I. Afridi is also thankful to the National Center of Excellence in Analytical Chemistry, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan for the grant of sabbatical leave.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hassan Imran Afridi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dermot Brabazon
    • 1
  • Tasneem Gul Kazi
    • 2
  • Sumsun Naher
    • 1
  1. 1.Mechanical and Manufacturing EngineeringDublin City UniversityDublinIreland
  2. 2.National Center of Excellence in Analytical ChemistryUniversity of SindhJamshoroPakistan

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