Common Serum Trace Elements ID'd in Alopecia Areata Patients

Patients with alopecia areata have significantly lower serum levels of zinc, selenium
Patients with alopecia areata have significantly lower serum levels of zinc, selenium

HealthDay News — Patients with alopecia areata (AA) have significantly lower serum levels of zinc and selenium, according to a meta-analysis published online February 2 in The Journal of Dermatology.

Waishu Jin, from Yuhuangding Hospital in Yantai, China, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to examine alterations of serum level of trace elements in AA. They examined the correlation between serum level of zinc, copper, iron/ferritin, selenium, or magnesium and AA using data from 10 eligible articles with 764 individuals. 

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The researchers found that, compared with controls, patients with AA had a lower serum level of zinc and selenium (both P<10−4). No significant differences were seen between AA patients and controls in the levels of serum copper, iron, ferritin, and magnesium (P=0.81, 0.36, 0.37, and 0.07, respectively).

"In conclusion, this meta-analysis suggests that the deficiency of zinc and selenium may be associated with the susceptibility of AA, and well-designed studies with adequate control for expounding what extent the correction of zinc and selenium levels contribute to AA improvement are required in future investigations," the authors write.

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