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J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2001;15(1):31-5.

Leucocyte copper, a marker of copper body status is low in coronary artery disease.

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Karol Marcinkowski University of Medical Sciences, Department of General Chemistry, Poznan, Poland.


To elucidate the relationship between leucocyte copper as a reliable, sensitive index of copper body status and extent of atherosclerosis in patients with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) the present case-control study was carried out. 80 subjects were studied (23 females and 57 males), aged between 30-70, due to have a angiography. Individual angiograms were scored by combining the individual scores in all the major coronary arteries into one score of a scale 1.00 for patency to 0.00 for severe CAD. Serum and leucocyte copper and zinc were determined by GFAAS. No significant difference between patients with advanced CAD and relatively normal arteries were observed in the lipid profile and levels of plasma copper. Leucocyte copper had a significant link with the severity of atherosclerosis which was independent of sex. There was a linear relationship between the degree of decreasing leucocyte copper concentration and angiogram score. These findings give support to the hypothesis that marginal copper status, assessed by decreased leucocyte copper level, is associated with developing CAD.

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