Frontiers in Biology

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 51–55 | Cite as

The relationship between serum zinc levels and rheumatoid arthritis activity

  • Elham Rajaee
  • Karim Mowla
  • Ali Ghorbani
  • Mehrdad Dargahi-Malamir
  • Marzieh Zarei
  • Faraj Allah Rahimikhah
Research Article



Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the most prevalent chronic autoimmune diseases; it typically involves the hands, wrists, ankles, and eventually all joints. Some studies have reported that zinc serum levels are lower in patients with RA than in healthy individuals.

Materials and Methods

Seventy-nine patients with RAwere selected. The patients were all less than 75 years old and were diagnosed by a rheumatologist. Serum zinc levels were measured using the flame photometry method with a blood sample of 5 mL. The relationship between the average serum zinc level and disease activity was analyzed based on the DAS28 scoring scale for different RA groups. The significance threshold was set at p<0.05. Data analyses were implemented in SPSS 22.0.


There was a significant inverse relationship between the serum zinc levels and disease activity. Chi-square tests were used to compare zinc serum levels with respect to disease activity. There were significant differences in zinc levels among three groups of patients with different levels of disease severity, such that disease activity increased as the serum zinc level decreased (p<0.001).


There was a significant inverse relationship between the serum zinc level and RA activity based on the DAS28 score. Therefore, it is recommended that mineral deficiencies should be addressed by optimizing the zinc supply along with other standard medications in order to reduce RA activity.


serum zinc level rheumatoid arthritis disease activity score DAS28 


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This article was part of a thesis by Dr. Faraj Allah Rahimikhah submitted to the Faculty of Medicine of Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences (No. D-2023) in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of the specialty in Internal Medicine. This work was supported by the Vice-Chancellor of University in Researches, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences (Grant No. U-96013).We thank all of the patients with rheumatoid arthritis, as well as caregivers and staff members at the Rheumatology Clinic of Golestan Hospital, Ahvaz, Iran who helped with data collection.


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elham Rajaee
    • 1
  • Karim Mowla
    • 1
  • Ali Ghorbani
    • 2
  • Mehrdad Dargahi-Malamir
    • 2
  • Marzieh Zarei
    • 3
  • Faraj Allah Rahimikhah
    • 4
  1. 1.Golestan Hospital Clinical Research Development UnitAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  2. 2.Department of NephrologyAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  3. 3.Shiraz University of medical SciencesShirazIran
  4. 4.Department of Internal MedicineAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran

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