The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 883–889 | Cite as

Trace Element Levels in the Elders over 80 from the Hainan Province of China

  • Qiao ZhuEmail author
  • Y. Yao
  • C.-X. Ning
  • Ya-Li ZhaoEmail author


Trace elements are key regulators of metabolism and physiological pathways, and their levels change during aging. Hair, as a biological sample, has attracted much attention due to its ease of collection and slow substance metabolism. Also, trace elements in hair can reveal the distribution of essential nutrients and toxic elements in the body pools. Therefore, we investigated the lifestyle and dietary status by questionnaire and measured 8 trace elements in hair and 6 elements in blood of a sample of elders over 80 residing in Hainan province of China. Our data showed that the concentration of Se, Fe and Pb dropped as people grow older, but Mn rose. Changes in trace elements may affect enzyme activity and biological pathways, and are associated with many diseases, including cancer and chronic diseases. In addition, association between age-related diseases and trace elements are increasingly being reported, suggesting that approaches of combining nutrition with longevity studies in the further study will help us to identify the mechanisms whereby trace elements affect the aging process.

Key words

Trace elements hair dyslipidemia anemia hypertension 



body mass index








diastolic blood pressure






high-density lipoprotein cholesterol




low-density lipoprotein cholesterol












systolic blood pressure






total cholesterol







We appreciate all the participants of the Hainan Centenarian Study for their continued cooperation.

Funding: This study was funded by Sanya Health Care Project (2017YW23), Nation Key R & D Program of China (2018YFC2000400), National S &D Resource Sharing service platform Project of China (YCZYPT[2018]07), and General Hospital of PLA Medical Big Data R & D Project (MBD2018030). There is no role of the funding body in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing the manuscript.

Ethics approval and consent to participate: Prior to investigation and physical examination, we have got the consent from the participants or from their family members such as sons and daughter-in-laws. If the participants could not sign their names because of illiteracy or being cognitive-impaired, their names were signed by their direct relatives after the consent of the participants. The Ethics Committee of the Hainan branch of PLA General Hospital (Sanya, Hainan) approved the study protocol (No. of serial: 301HNLL-2016-01).

Consent for publication: Not applicable.

Competing interests: On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag International SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hainan Hospital of PLA General HospitalSanyaChina
  2. 2.Center for Healthy Aging and Development Studies, National School of DevelopmentPeking UniversityBeijingChina

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