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Saudi Med J. 2003 Oct;24(10):1121-5.

Plasma copper and zinc levels in pregnant women in Gaziantep, Turkey.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Gaziantep University, Turkey.



Trace elements such as copper and zinc are important factors on the health of pregnant women, fetus and embryonic development. Since these elements have important influences on health of pregnant women and the growing fetus, this study was designed to evaluate the zinc and copper status of pregnant women in Gaziantep, Turkey.


This study was designed as a prevalence study. Twenty-two health station region were chosen in 13 health centers in the province of Gaziantep city in 1999, and copper and zinc levels were examined in 415 pregnant women living in these regions. Plasma copper and zinc concentrations were determined spectrophotometrically. Analysis of variance and "t" tests were used in the statistical analysis of means.


In the examination, plasma copper and zinc levels were found as 220.67 mg/dl and 124.91 mg/dl. While zinc concentrations were not altered significantly throughout gestation, copper levels of pregnant women increased significantly as duration of pregnancy progressed.


Plasma copper was higher in all trimesters of gestation when compared to normal range of non-pregnant women. The zinc levels of pregnant women were mostly within normal range. It decreased significantly in the pregnant women >35 years of age and in those whose education was literacy and less. Therefore, zinc supplementation in pregnant women is recommended in these groups.

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