Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 181, Issue 2, pp 192–198 | Cite as

Associations Between Serum Zinc Levels and Mental Health: Findings from the 2010 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

  • Na-Rae Kim
  • Ko-Woon Kim
  • Ha-Na Kim
  • Sang-Wook SongEmail author


Mental health problems are a major public health issue worldwide, and zinc may be associated with psychiatric symptoms, but such associations have not been investigated extensively. This study was conducted to evaluate the relationship between serum zinc levels and mental health problems in Korean adults. We used data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey V-1, a cross-sectional survey of Korean civilians. Data from 1748 subjects were analyzed. Serum zinc levels did not differ significantly according to psychiatric symptoms including sleep duration, stress, depressed mood, suicidal ideation, and whether respondents sought psychiatric consultation. The frequencies and odds ratios of psychiatric symptoms according to serum zinc tertiles were not significantly associated after adjusting for age, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, body mass index, total body fat, and renal function and for daily fat, carbohydrate, and protein intake. Serum zinc levels may not be associated with psychiatric symptoms in Korean adults without psychiatric disorders.


Zinc Psychiatric symptom Mental health Korean adults 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

All protocols were approved by the Institutional Review Board of the KCDC, and all participants provided written informed consent at baseline.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Na-Rae Kim
    • 1
  • Ko-Woon Kim
    • 1
  • Ha-Na Kim
    • 1
  • Sang-Wook Song
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Family Medicine, St. Vincent’s Hospital, College of MedicineThe Catholic University of KoreaSuwon-siRepublic of Korea

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