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Keywords:

  • selenium;
  • hyperlipidemia;
  • atherosclerosis

Abstract

Selenium is an essential trace element with potential anti-atherogenic and antioxidant effects. Experimental data suggest that selenium might be beneficial in the prevention of atherosclerosis and its complications, whereas human epidemiological studies have yielded conflicting results. Data on hair selenium status in hyperlipidemic patients are still lacking. Therefore, we analysed selenium concentrations by X-ray fluorescence in the hair of 81 statin-naïve patients with newly diagnosed Fredrickson-type IIa and IIb hyperlipoproteinemia and compared their data with 43 healthy volunteers. We also assessed the frequency of other classical risk factors of atherosclerosis. Hair selenium levels were found to be significantly higher in hyperlipidemic patients compared with volunteers with normal lipid levels. Also, a significantly increased number of traditional atherosclerosis risk factors were observed in hyperlipidemic patients with hair selenium concentrations above the median in contrast to those with below. Our results suggest that high hair selenium status might be associated with adverse blood lipid profile together with an increased number of traditional risk factors in a selenium-deplete population. These findings warrant further investigations to study the impact of selenium supplementation on the incidence of cardiovascular events.