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Clin Lab. 2010;56(9-10):427-39.

Potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium levels in biological samples of Pakistani myocardial infarction patients at different stages as related to controls.

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National Center of Excellence in Analytical Chemistry, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan.



Many studies have examined the association between cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality and the intake of essential micronutrients (potassium (K+), calcium (Ca(2+)), magnesium (Mg(2+)), and sodium (Na+)). They may separately reduce the CVD incidence to a small degree over the short term levels. The aim of the present study was to compare the levels of micronutrients in biological samples (whole blood, urine, and scalp hair) of myocardial infarction (MI) patients of both genders where ages ranged from 45 to 60 years at first, second and third heart attack (n = 232). For comparison purposes, healthy age-matched referent subjects (n = 103) and patients with cardiovascular without MI, of both genders were also selected.


The elemental concentrations in scalp hair and whole blood were measured by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer prior to microwave-induced acid digestion. The validity and accuracy was checked by means of certified reference materials.


The results of this study showed that the mean values of K+ and Mg(2+) were significantly reduced, while the Na+ level was higher in blood and scalp hair samples of MI patients as com-pared to control subjects of both genders (p < 0.05). The levels of Ca(2+) in the biological samples of MI patients were found to be higher than in referents, but the difference was not significant (p > 0.05). The urinary levels of these elements were found to be higher in MI patients than in the age-matched healthy controls.


Although these data do not prove a causal relationship, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that deficiency and efficiency of some essential micronutrients may play a role in the development of heart disease. The micronutrient supplements containing K+ and Mg(2+) may be beneficial, but because of potential risks, use should be carefully monitored and restricted to men taking potassium-losing diuretics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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