Serum copper in Khartoum: A comparison of children and elderly subjects with healthy adults

Muataz Elsiddig Dafa Alla, Elmuataz Elmansi Abdalla

Abstract


Background: Copper is attracting the attention of researchers because of more discoveries of its association with a variety of health disorders. It is essential for the proper functioning of many metalloenzymes like cytochrome oxidase, superoxide dismutase and tyrosinase. Human copper deficiency is a recognized cause of neutropenia, anaemia, depigmentation of hair and skin, demineralization of bones, defective elastin formation, cerebral and cerebellar degeneration. The objective of this preliminary study was to look for indications of copper deficiency/disorder in Khartoum.
Methods: Ninety six volunteers were enrolled in this study: children, adults and elderly. Half of the children and elderly were hospital patients. Serum copper was measured by an atomic absorption spectrophotometer and the results were analyzed by SPSS.
Results: Serum copper in healthy adults (88.6±12.2 μg/dl) is on the lower side of the international normal range (70–155 μg/dl). The serum copper levels in children (113±35μg/dl) and elderly females (110.5±25.2μg/dl) were higher than healthy adults. Elderly males had the lowest levels of serum copper (77.2±10.7μg/dl).
Conclusion: Copper is unlikely to be linked to significant health disorders in Khartoum.

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ISSN: 1858-5345