Association between essential trace and toxic elements in scalp hair samples of smokers rheumatoid arthritis subjects.Sci Total Environ 2011; 412-413:93-100ST
The incidence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been increased among people who possess habit of tobacco smoking. In the present study, zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) were determined in scalp hair samples of smokers and nonsmokers RA patients, residents of Dublin, Ireland. For comparison purposes scalp hair samples of age and sex matched healthy smokers and nonsmokers were also analyzed. The concentrations of understudied elements were measured by inductive coupled plasma atomic emission spectrophotometer, prior to microwave assisted acid digestion. The validity and accuracy of methodology was checked using certified reference material (NCS ZC 81002b) and by the conventional wet acid digestion method on the same certified reference material and on real samples. The mean hair Zn, Cu and Mn contents were significantly lower in smokers and nonsmokers RA patients as compared to healthy individuals (p=0.01-0.001). Whereas the concentrations of Cd and Pb were significantly higher in scalp hair samples of RA patients of both group (p<0.001). The referent smokers have high level of Cd and Pb in their scalp hair samples as compared to those had not smoking tobacco (p<0.01). The ratio of Cd and Pb to Zn, Cu and Mn in scalp hair samples was also calculated. The Cd/Zn ratio was higher in smoker RA patients with related to nonsmoker RA and referents. This study is compelling evidence in support of positive associations between toxic elements, cigarette smoking, deficiency of essential trace elements and risk of arthritis.