Hair zinc and selenium levels in children with recurrent wheezing

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Abstract

The prevalence of asthma and other allergic diseases has increased markedly in the last few decades. Oxidative stress plays a central role in asthma pathogenesis, and reduced daily consumption of antioxidants is positively correlated with increased risk of asthma. Zinc (Zn) and selenium (Se) are the main antioxidant elements. In our study, we aimed to investigate hair Zn and Se levels in children with recurrent wheezing. The study included 65 patients with recurrent wheezing (RW) and 65 healthy children (HC). The hair Zn and Se levels (μg/g) of the RW group were lower in comparison with the HC group (162.43 ± 91.52 vs. 236.38 ± 126.44, P < 0.001, and 217.37 ± 83.01 vs. 280.53 ± 122.73, P < 0.001, respectively). Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) (mmol/L) of the RW group was found to be significantly lower in comparison with the HC group (1.38 ± 0.14 vs. 1.53 ± 0.20, respectively; P < 0.001). Number of wheezing episodes in the last 6 months were negatively correlated with serum TAC, hair Zn, and Se levels in RW group (rp = −0.291, P = 0.001; rp = −0.209, P = 0.017; rp = −0.206, P = 0.019, respectively). The number of acute respiratory tract infection (ARTI) episodes in the last 6 months was negatively correlated with serum TAC and hair Zn levels (rp = −0.316, P < 0.001, and rp = −0.196, P = 0.025, respectively). In this study, we found that TAC, hair Zn, and hair Se levels were lower in children with RW than HC and negatively correlated with wheezing episodes in the last 6 months. Also body Zn and Se levels can be reliably measured in hair samples. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2012; 47:1185–1191. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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