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Biol Trace Elem Res. 1995 Aug-Sep;49(2-3):97-106.

Zinc, copper, and zinc- or copper-dependent enzymes in human hypertension.

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Institute of Hygiene, University of Modena Medical School, Italy.


Imbalance of zinc and copper status has been hypothesized in human hypertension. A case-control study was carried out to elucidate the possible relationship between zinc and copper status and essential hypertension. Thirty-one subjects affected by mild stable hypertension, pharmacologically untreated, were investigated together with 31 normotensive controls individually matched for sex, age, and smoking habits. Zinc and copper in serum and urine wee measured, and serum activities of alkaline phosphatase (AP), lactic dehydrogenase (LDH), copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (Cu-Zn SOD), lysyl oxidase (LOX), and monoamine oxidase (MAO) were evaluated. No significant difference in serum and urine zinc and copper content as far as in serum activity of zinc (AP and LDH) or copper (Cu-Zn SOD, LOX, and MAO)-dependent enzymes was found between hypertensives and normotensives. Positive relationships were found in normotensives between serum and urine levels of zinc (r = 0.577; p = 0.001) and copper (r = 0.394; p = 0.028), and between serum copper and Cu-Zn SOD (r = 0.534; p = 0.002). In normotensives, diastolic blood pressure and serum zinc were positively related (r = 0.370; p = 0.041). In hypertensives, inverse correlations were observed between diastolic blood pressure and AP (r = -0.498; p = 0.004) and Cu-Zn SOD (r = 0.452; p = 0.011), and between systolic blood pressure and LOX (r = -0.385; p = 0.033). Diastolic blood pressure was related to LDH inversely in hypertensives (r = -0.357; p = 0.049) and positively in normotensives (r = 0.457; p = 0.010). In normotensives, diastolic blood pressure was inversely related with MAO (r = -0.360; p = 0.046). These findings support the hypothesis that an imbalance of zinc and copper status might be involved in human hypertension.

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