Cobalt, copper, selenium and zinc levels in pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women in Nnewi, South-East Nigeria
Background: The effect of oestrogen deficiency after menopause on the trace elements may give rise to some metabolic disturbances leading to osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, arterial hypertension, thyroid disorders and many other pathological conditions.
Objective: This study was meant to unravel the possible effects of menopause on some select trace elements.
Methodology: A total of 100 subjects were selected for this study which comprised 50 pre-menopausal (control) and 50 post-menopausal (test). The subjects were divided into different age categories and duration. Determination of the concentrations of trace elements was performed using the FS-240 atomic absorption spectrophotometry method.
Results: There was a significant decrease in the mean concentrations of zinc and cobalt in the post-menopausal subjects (test), compared with the pre-menopausal group (p<0.01). However, a significant increase was observed in the mean levels of selenium in the post-menopausal group (test), compared with that of the pre-menopausal individuals (p<0.01), while there was no significant difference in the mean concentration of copper in the post-menopausal subjects, compared with the pre-menopausal group (p=0.428).
Conclusion: Oestrogen deficiency after menopause may be the cause of some fluctuations in the serum concentrations of trace elements. This work has established that the serum concentrations of zinc and cobalt are diminished with a concomitant increase in selenium in post-menopausal women. The precise impact of this deficiency and possible influence of oestrogen therapy on trace element status in post-menopausal women need further larger-population studies.
Keywords: Oestrogen deficiency, serum concentrations, trace elements, women