Evaluation of status of arsenic, cadmium, lead and zinc levels in biological samples of normal and arthritis patients of age groups (46 - 60) and (61 - 75) years.Clin Lab. 2013; 59(1-2):143-53.CL
Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease resulting in inflammation of diarthrodial joints (particularly joints of hands, wrists, feet, knees, ankles, and shoulders), manifested by swelling and functional impairment. This study was designed to evaluate the levels of the toxic elements arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) and correlate those with the essential trace element zinc (Zn) in biological samples (scalp hair, blood, and urine) of arthritis patients, in two age groups (46 - 60 and 61 - 75) of both genders. For comparison purposes all three biological samples were collected from gender- and age-matched non-arthritic subjects as referents.
The As, Cd, and Pb in biological samples were analysed by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry, prior to microwave assisted acid digestion. The level of Zn was determined by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The validity and accuracy of the methodology was checked by using Certified Reference Materials (CRM) from the Community Bureau of Reference (BCR) of the Commission of the European Community and with those values obtained by conventional wet acid digestion method on the same CRMs.
The results of this study showed that the mean values of As, Cd, and Pb were higher in blood, scalp hair, and urine samples of arthritis patients as compared to those values obtained in age-matched referent subjects. The concentration of Zn was lower in the biological samples of rheumatoid arthritis patients of both genders with respect to non-arthritic subjects. The urinary levels of the elements studied were found to be higher in the arthritis patients than in the age-matched healthy referents (p < 0.001).
An inverse correlation was observed between Zn and toxic elements in biological samples of arthritis patients (r = 0.612 - 0.754). Intake of certain antioxidant micronutrients, particularly a zinc supplement, may protect against the development of rheumatoid arthritis.