Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 178, Issue 2, pp 180–188 | Cite as

Association of Mood Disorders with Serum Zinc Concentrations in Adolescent Female Students

  • Kobra Tahmasebi
  • Reza Amani
  • Zahra Nazari
  • Kambiz Ahmadi
  • Sara Moazzen
  • Seyed-Ali Mostafavi


Among various factors influencing mood disorders, the impact of micronutrient deficiencies has attracted a great attention. Zinc deficiency is considered to play a crucial role in the onset and progression of mood disorders in different stages of life. The main objective of this study was to assess the correlation between serum zinc levels and mood disorders in high school female students. This cross-sectional study was conducted on a random sample of 100 representative high school female students. The participants completed 24-h food recall questionnaires to assess the daily zinc intakes. Serum zinc status was assessed using flame atomic absorption spectrometry, and zinc deficiency was defined accordingly. Mood disorders were estimated by calculating the sum of two test scores including Beck’s depression inventory (BDI) and hospital anxiety depression scale (HADS) tests. General linear model (GLM) and Pearson’s regression test were applied to show the correlation of serum zinc levels and mood disorder scores and the correlation between zinc serum levels and BDI scores, respectively. Dietary zinc intake was higher in subjects with normal zinc concentrations than that of zinc-deficient group (p = 0.001). Serum zinc levels were inversely correlated with BDI and HADS scores (p < 0.05). Each 10 μg/dL increment in serum zinc levels led to 0.3 and 0.01 decrease in depression and anxiety scores, respectively (p < 0.05). Serum zinc levels were inversely correlated with mood disorders including depression and anxiety in adolescent female students. Increasing serum levels of zinc in female students could improve their mood disorders.


Female Mood disorders Serum zinc levels Students Zinc 



We wish to thank all the participants and their parents and also the colleagues at the high school who kindly co-operated with us.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


This study was a part of Ms. Kobra Tahmasebi’s MSc thesis, and the laboratory costs were covered by a grant of Vice-chancellor for Research at the Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

“All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from parents of all subjects and assent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.”


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kobra Tahmasebi
    • 1
  • Reza Amani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zahra Nazari
    • 3
  • Kambiz Ahmadi
    • 4
  • Sara Moazzen
    • 1
  • Seyed-Ali Mostafavi
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition, School of Paramedicine, Health Research Institute, Diabetes Research CenterJundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  2. 2.Food Security Center, School of Nutrition and Food ScienceIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran
  3. 3.Department of Toxicology, School of PharmacyJundishapur UniversityAhvazIran
  4. 4.Department of Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public HealthJundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  5. 5.Psychiatry Research Center, Roozbeh HospitalTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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