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Prospective Study of Selenium Levels in Toenails and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Men *

Selenium is a trace mineral that plays a role in antioxidant defenses as a component of glutathione peroxidase. Epidemiologic findings on the relation of selenium status to risk of heart disease are inconsistent. Therefore, the authors investigated prospectively the association between toenail selenium levels and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in a case-control study nested within the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Between 1987 and 1992, 470 CHD cases were newly diagnosed. A control matched to each case on age, smoking status, and date of toenail return was chosen. Toenail selenium levels analyzed by neutron activation were not associated with risk of total CHD after adjustment for age and smoking and other CHD risk factors (highest quintile vs. lowest: odds ratio (OR) = 0.86, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.55, 1.32; p-trend = 0.75). Selenium level was inversely associated with risk of nonfatal myocardial infarction for extreme quintiles (OR = 0.54, 95% CI: 0.31, 0.93; p-trend = 0.07), was less so for fatal CHD (OR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.39, 1.60; p-trend = 0.61), and was directly associated with coronary revascularization procedures (OR = 2.38, 95% CI: 1.11, 5.09; p-trend = 0.02). Although these findings suggest no overall relation between selenium status and CHD, a specific protective role for myocardial infarction cannot be excluded.

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 08-24-2010
Authors: Kazuko Yoshizawa, Alberto Ascherio, J. Steven Morris, Meir J. Stampfer, Edward Giovannucci, Connie K. Baskett, Walter C. Willett and Eric B. Rimm
Source: Am J Epidemiol 2003; 158:852-860.