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Rivista di Medicina Interna
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Panminerva Medica 2000 Dicembre;42(4):273-7
Blood zinc, copper and magnesium in aging. A study in healthy home-living elderly
Del Corso L., Pastine F., Protti M. A. **, Romanelli A. M. **, Moruzzo D., Ruocco L. *, Pentimone F.
From the Sections of Geriatrics and of *Clinical Laboratory Analysis, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italyand **National Research Council, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit, Pisa, Italy
Background. Blood concentrations of copper, zinc and magnesium were determined in healthy elderly to assess whether aging interferes with mineral and micronutrient status.
Methods. Experimental design: case series. Setting: Internal Medicine and Geriatrics ambulatories in a University Hospital in Pisa, a city of Central Italy. Participants: 143 healthy outpatients of both sexes, who underwent a cardiological examination. Intervention: no treatment and intervention were performed. Measures: copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and magnesium - both intraerythrocytic (iMg) and extracellular (eMg) - were measured.
Results. The concentrations of Cu and eMg were found significantly higher in the elderly: Cu 117.5±17.0 μg/dl in the elderly vs 102.5±19.6 µg/dl in the younger (p<0.001); eMg 1.8±0.2 in the elderly vs 1.7±0.2 mEq/l in the younger (p<0.05). On the other hand, the levels of Zn and iMg did not differ in the two groups: Zn 113.3±14.9 μg/dl in the elderly vs 118.0±17.3 µg/dl in the younger, p=n.s.; iMg 4.3±0.4 mEq/l in the elderly vs 4.2±0.4 mEq/l in the younger, p=n.s. No correlation was found between age and single elements.
Conclusions. These results suggest that the healthy free-living elderly have an adequate mineral intake. Nutrient supplements may by useful in the elderly with chronic diseases, comorbidities, and polypharmacy to prevent further age dysfunctions.