Evaluation of trace elements in pregnant women with pre-eclampsia
Trace elements such as zinc, copper, and selenium display antioxidant activity and act as peroxynitrite scavenger while others such as manganese and magnesium are essential micronutrients. The disturbance in the metabolism of these elements may be a contributing factor in the development of certain diseases such as pre-eclampsia. The aim of this study is to determine the status of these elements in pre-eclamptic pregnant women in Osogbo, Western Nigeria. Forty-nine pre-eclamptic patients and 40 age-matched non pre-eclamptic pregnant women (control group) were recruited from Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Osun State, Western Nigeria. The concentration of these trace elements in serum was measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometry after acid digestion. The demographic characteristic of the patients and controls, including blood pressure (measured with digitalised sphygmomanometer) were obtained during patient clerking and history taking by the attending physician. In the pre-eclamptic group, all the elements evaluated were significantly lower when compared with the control group (p < 0.01). The systolic and diastolic blood pressure showed significant inverse correlation with all the evaluated micronutrient (p < 0.01). The findings of this study showed that trace elements were significantly reduced in pre-eclamptic pregnant women when compared to those of control group. Dietary supplementation with these elements may help to prevent pre-elampsia, at least in susceptible women, especially in developing countries.
Key words: Deficiencies, complications, pregnant women, Nigeria, trace elements.