The aim of the present study was to evaluate the serum levels of trace minerals and heavy metals in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients and to investigate whether there is a correlation between levels of trace minerals and demographic and biochemical variables.
This clinical, case-control study was performed on 61 OSA patients and 36 healthy controls. Demographic, radiological, biochemical variables, as well as serum levels of trace minerals (magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, manganese, cobalt) and heavy metals (lead, cadmium) were compared in OSA and control groups. In addition, correlation of serum levels of these substances to demographic, biochemical, and radiological parameters was tested.
Not only serum levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, cadmium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, lead, and zinc were found to be higher, but also carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) was increased in OSA patients. Increase in CIMT was found to be correlated with levels of cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc.
Our results have shown that serum levels of trace minerals and heavy metals were higher in OSA. This difference may ensource from deterioration of the balance of these substances due to oxidative stress and inflammation. Significance of these findings with respect to the etiopathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of OSA warrants further trials.