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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1980 May-Jun;5(3):230-3.

Elevated hair copper level in idiopathic scoliosis: preliminary observations.


Hair samples were collected from 74 patients with idiopathic adolescent scoliosis and from 25 control children and were analyzed for content of the following minerals: copper, sodium, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, cadmium, calcium, and manganese. The hair copper level of the scoliotic children was significantly higher than that of the controls. The scoliosis mean was 6.5 micrograms/dl and the control mean was 3.6 micrograms/dl, P less than 0.025. There was no correlation between the amount of hair copper and the severity of the scoliosis. The authors suggest that copper may be a factor in the development of scoliosis since it is part of the lysyl oxidase enzymes that are required for cross-linking of collagen and elastin. Another connection is that postpubertal girls have higher copper levels than boys and also have a greater severity of scoliosis.

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