OBJECTIVE — Low serum zinc level may predispose nondiabetic subjects to cardiovascular diseases. Our aim was to investigate whether serum zinc level predicts coronary heart disease (CHD) events in subjects with type 2 diabetes
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS — The original study population consisted of 1,059 patients with type 2 diabetes, aged 45–64 years. Mean duration of diabetes was 8 years. Serum zinc values were available from 1,050 subjects. CHD mortality and the incidence of nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) were assessed in a 7-year follow-up.
RESULTS — During the follow-up, 156 patients died from CHD and 254 patients had a fatal or nonfatal MI. Patients with serum zinc concentration ≤14.1 μmol/l at baseline had a higher risk for death from CHD than patients with serum zinc level >14.1 μmol/l (20.8 and 12.8%, respectively; P = 0.001) The risks for fatal or nonfatal MI were 30.5 and 22.0%, respectively (P = 0.005). In Cox regression analyses, low serum zinc concentration was significantly associated with CHD mortality (relative risk [RR] 1.7, P = 0.002) and all CHD events (RR 1.37, P = 0.030), even after adjustment for confounding variables.
CONCLUSIONS — In this large cohort of type 2 diabetic patients, low serum zinc level was an independent risk factor for CHD events.