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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 9  |  Issue: 9  |  Page No.: 861 - 864

Plasma Copper and Zinc in Pregnancy Complicated with Diabetes Mellitus

Emmanuel I. Ugwuja, Emmanuel I. Akubugwo and Boniface N. Ejikeme    

Abstract: To determine the effect of hyperglycaemia on plasma copper and zinc in pregnancy complicated with diabetes mellitus, data for 40 diabetic and 40 non-diabetic pregnant women, matched for age, gestational age, Body Mass Index (BMI), parity and socioeconomic status from a cohort of 349 pregnant women recruited at gestational age of <25 weeks for the assessment of impacts of trace elements on pregnancy outcomes were analyzed. In addition to plasma copper and zinc which were determined by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (Buck Scientific, Model AVG 210), plasma albumin, glucose, haemoglobin concentration and Total White Blood Cell Count (TWBC) were determined using standard laboratory methods. Although diabetic and non-diabetic pregnant women had comparable (p>0.05) age, gestational age, BMI and plasma copper, the former had significantly (p<0.05) lower plasma zinc (16.49±4.74 vs. 25.31±7.07 μmol/l) with significantly higher plasma glucose concentration (13.19±1.81 vs. 6.23±1.12 mmol/l). The diabetic subjects also had significantly (p<0.05) higher plasma albumin and TWBC when compared to their control counterparts (3.41±0.85 vs. 2.92±0.79 g/dl and 5.72±1.75 vs. 5.10±1.33 x 109/L respectively), although these were within the reference ranges. Correlation analysis showed that plasma glucose was negatively correlated with plasma zinc concentration (r = -0.239; p = 0.051). It is therefore concluded that hyperglycaemia in pregnancy complicated with diabetes mellitus impacts negatively on plasma zinc status, but lacks effect on plasma copper. This has important health implications for diabetic pregnant women and their newborns.

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