Relationships between Serum Copper Concentration and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Normal Subjects

  • Domenico Girelli
  • Oliviero Olivieri
  • Antonella Bassi
  • Margherita Azzini
  • Simonetta Friso
  • Carla Russo
  • Sara Lombardi
  • Roberto Corrocher


High serum copper (s-Cu) has been reported as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in both case-control (1) and large prospective population studies (2, 3). The mechanisms underlying these associations are largely unclear. In vitro Cu is highly efficient in promoting the oxidation of low-density-lipoprotein (4), which is considered an important step in atherogenesis. A synergistic effect between the pro-oxidant action of Cu and low status of selenium (an antioxidant), leading to atherogenesis via an imbalance of defence against free radicals has been suggested in vivo (5). Also, experimental animal studies suggest a role of Cu in lipid metabolism, particularly in cholesterol (6) and fatty acid metabolism (7). Within the framework of a cross-sectional survey aimed to study the status of several trace elements in a sample of healthy adults (8), we examined the relationships between s-Cu and several, well-known, risk factors for CVD, including plasma lipoproteins and fatty acids, and coagulation factors.


Cardiovascular Risk Factor Serum Copper Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometry Serum Selenium Plasma Vitamin 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Domenico Girelli
    • 1
  • Oliviero Olivieri
    • 1
  • Antonella Bassi
    • 2
  • Margherita Azzini
    • 1
  • Simonetta Friso
    • 1
  • Carla Russo
    • 1
  • Sara Lombardi
    • 1
  • Roberto Corrocher
  1. 1.Institute of Medical Pathology, Chair of Internal MedicineUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly
  2. 2.Clinical ChemistryUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly

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