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J Family Community Med. 2020 Jan-Apr;27(1):29-36. doi: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_113_19. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

The status of zinc in type 2 diabetic patients and its association with glycemic control.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Family Medicine, King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health Informatics, King Saud Bin Abdul-Aziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



Zinc (Zn) is a trace element that carries antioxidant properties. Deficiency of Zn increases oxidative stress, especially in diabetes. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between the level of Zn and glycemic control in type 2 diabetes.


A cross-sectional study was carried out in the Department of Medicine at King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from March 2018 to September 2018. A total of 440 participants were included in the study; 252 of these had type 2 diabetes and 188 were controls. All participants had laboratory investigations including fasting blood sugar (FBS), glycosylated hemoglobin, and lipid profile and Zn levels. These two groups (diabetics and controls) were further divided into Zn deficient group and normal Zn group according to their Zn levels. Data were analyzed by using SPSS software.


The mean Zn level was 11.7 + 1.5 in the control group, whereas it was significantly low (9.3 + 1.6) in the diabetic group (P < 0.001). Zn deficiency in the control group was only 6.4%, while in the diabetic group, it was 67.9%, (P ≤ 0.001). The mean ages for the low Zn group and normal Zn group were 40.9 + 12.5 and 37.5 + 10.1, respectively, and the Zn deficient group was higher in age (P = 0.003). There was no significant statistical difference between genders regarding Zn deficiency. Obesity was associated with significantly low Zn levels (P = 0.016). The serum Zn level was significantly negatively associated with FBS and glycated hemoglobin in diabetic participants (P < 0.001).


Diabetic patients have Zn deficiency compared to normal individuals and poor glycemic control is associated with low Zn levels.


Diabetes mellitus; poor glycemic control; trace elements; zinc

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