Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 91, Issue 3, pp 193–202 | Cite as

Plasma zinc levels during pregnancy and its relationship to maternal and neonatal characteristics

A longitudinal study
  • Füsun Aydemir
  • Ayhan O. Çavdar
  • Feride Söylemez
  • Bora Cengiz


Forty consecutive healthy pregnant women aged 17–38 yr who attended the antenatal clinic of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ankara University in their first trimester participated in the study. The pregnant women were followed up longitudinally until the end of their pregnancy. Forty healthy age-matched nonpregnant women were used as a control group. Each pregnant woman was interviewed and a special questionnaire recording dietary history (3-d recall) and socioeconomic status (SES) was used. Birth weight, height, and head circumference of the newborn were measured and a complete physical examination was done for each neonate by the same observer. Blood samples were obtained at each trimester and zinc determinations were made using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The results of plasma Zn measurements were available in 39 pregnant women. There were 23 women of low SES (mean plasma Zn level: 59.0 ± 6.9 µg/dL) and 16 of high SES (mean plasma Zn: 70.3 ± 5.2 µg/dL). The difference between the mean plasma Zn levels of these two groups was significant (p<0.001). The nutritional status in our study appeared to be an important factor responsible for low plasma Zn levels during pregnancy. However, we did not find any correlation between plasma Zn levels and anthropometric parameters of the newborn and pregnancy outcome. Further studies using larger sample sizes are needed to clarify the role of plasma Zn levels on maternal features and fetal outcomes in Turkey.

Index Entries

Zinc pregnancy nutritional status neonatal outcome 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    F. Aydemir, A. O. Çavdar, and F. Söylemez, Zinc and selenium during pregnancy in Turkish women—a longitudinal study, in New Aspects of Trace Element Research, M. Abdulla, M. Bost, and S. Gamon eds. Smith-Gordon, London, pp. 288–292 (1999).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    A. O. Çavdar, E. Babacan, A. Arcasoy, et al., Effect of nutrition on serum zinc concentration during pregnancy in Turkish women, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 33, 542–544 (1980).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    L. Wada and J. C. King, Trace element nutrition during pregnancy, Clin. Obstet Gynecol. 37, 574–586 (1994).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Y. H. Neggers, G. R. Cutter, R. T. Acton, et al., A positive association between maternal serum zinc concentration and birth weight, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 1, 678–684 (1990).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    M. W. Breskin, B. S. Worthington-Roberts, R. H. Knopp, et al., First trimester serum zinc concentrations in human pregnancy, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 38, 943–953 (1983).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    A. O. Çavdar, D. Uçkan, M. Bahçeci, et al., Zinc concentrations of blood (plasma, erythrocytes and hair) in pregnant Turkish women from different socio-economic groups, in Trace and Toxic Elements in Human Health, M. Abdulla, S.B. Vohora, and M. Athar, eds., East Wiley Company, New Dehli, India, pp. 179–185 (1995).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    K. M. Hambidge, N. F. Krebs, and M. A. Jacobs, Zinc nutritional status during pregnancy: a longitudinal study, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 37, 429–442 (1983).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    S. Jameson, Zinc nutrition and human pregnancy, in Zinc Deficiency in Human Subjects, A. S. Prasad, A. O. Çavdar, G. J. Brewer, et al., eds., Alan R. Liss, New York, pp. 53–69 (1983).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    E. Hunt, N. Murphy, J. Gomes, et al., Dietary zinc intake of low income pregnant women of Mexican descent, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 32, 151–118 (1979).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    F. Açkurt, H. Wetherict, M. Löker, et al., Biochemical assesment of nutritional status in pre and post-matal Turkish women and outcome of pregnancy, Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 13, 613–622 (1995).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    P. B. Moser and R. D. Reynolds, Dietary zinc intake and zinc concentrations of plasma, erythrocytes, and breast milk in antepartum and postpartum lactating and nonlactating women: a longitudinal study, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 38, 101–108 (1993).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    M. D. Mukherjee, H. Sanstead, Ratnaparkhi MV, et al., Maternal zinc, iron, folic acid and protein nutriture and outcome of human pregnancy, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 40, 496–507 (1984).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    C. A. Swanson and J. C. King, Reduced serum zinc concentration during pregnancy, Obstet. Gynecol. 62, 313–318 (1983).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    P. Carbone, M. Sobreviela, D. Jimenez, et al. Hair zinc and dietary zinc intake during pregnancy and puerperium, Eur. J. Obstet. Gynecol. Reprod. Biol. 47, 103–108 (1992).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    R. S. Bedwal and A. Bahuguna, Zinc, copper and selenium in reproduction, Experientia 50, 626–640 (1994).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    S. C. Vir, A.H.G. Love, and W. Thompson, Zinc concentration in hair and serum of pregnant women in Belfast, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 34, 2800–2807 (1981).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    A. O. Çavdar, M. Bahçeli, N. Akar, et al., Effect of zinc supplementation in Turkish women with two previous anencephalic infants, Gynecol. Obstet. Invest. 32, 123–125 (1991).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    K. K. Lehti, Stillbirth ratios and folic acid and zinc status of low-socioeconomic pregnant women of Brazilian Amazon, Nutrition 9, 156–158 (1993).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    P. K. Buamah, M. Russell, G. Bates, et al., Maternal zinc status: a determination of central nervous system malformation, Br. J. Obstet. Gynaecol. 91, 788–790 (1991).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    L. S. Hurley and H. Swenerton, Congenital malformation resulting from zinc deficiency in rats, Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 123, 692–696 (1976).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    C. A. Swanson and J. C. King, Zinc and pregnancy outcome, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 46, 763–771 (1987).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    A. O. Çavdar, M. Bahçeci, N. Akar, et al., Maternal hair zinc concentration in neural tube defect in Turkey, Biol. Trace Element Res. 30, 81–85 (1991).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    A. O. Çavdar, N. Akar, J. Erten, et al., Zinc status in pregnancy and the occurrence of anencephaly in Turkey, J. Trace Elements Health Dis. 2, 9–14 (1988).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    C. L. Keen, M. S. Clegg, and L. S. Hurley, The role of zinc in prenatal and postantal development, in Trace Elements in Clinical Medicine, H. Tomita, ed., Springer-Verlag, Tokyo, pp. 203–208 (1990).Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Y. H. Neggers, M. B. Dubard, R. L. Goldenberg, et al., Factors influencing plasma zinc levels in low-income pregnant women, Biol. Trace Element Res. 55, 127–135 (1995).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    N. Butte, D. H. Calloway, and J. L. Van Duzen, Nutritional status assessment of pregnancy and lactating Navajo women, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 34, 3216–3228 (1981).Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    N. K. Aras and I. Ölmez, Human exposure to trace elements, Nutrition 11(Suppl.), 512–516 (1995).Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    C. Mbofig, J. Atinmo, and A. Omolulu, Zinc and phytate concentrations: zinc molar ratio and metallocalorie ratio of zinc and protein contents of some selected Nigerian dietary foods, Nutr. Res. 4, 567–576 (1984).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    L. E. Cauldfield, N. Zavaleta, A. H. Shankar, et al., Potential contribution of maternal zinc supplemention during pregnancy to mother and child survival, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 68(Suppl.), 499S-508S (1998).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    S. Jameson, Zinc status in pregnancy, the effect of zinc therapy on perinatal mortality, prematurity and placental ablation, Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 678, 178–191 (1993).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    D. Shah and H.P.S. Sachdev, Effect of gestational zinc deficiency on pregnancy outcomes: summary of observation studies and zinc supplementation, Br. J. Nutr. 85(Suppl. 2), s101-s108 (2001).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    T. O. Scholl, M. L. Hediger, J. I. School, et al., Low zinc intake during pregnancy: its association with preterm and very preterm delivery, Am. J. Epidemiol. 137, 1115–1124 (1993).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    N. Lazebnik, D. R. Kuhnert, and L. K. Thompson, Zinc status, pregnancy complications and labor abnormalities, Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 158, 1616–1620 (1988).Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    T. Tamura, R. L. Goldenberg, K. E. Jonston, et al., Serum concentrations of zinc, folate, vitamins, AE and proteins and their relationship to pregnancy outcome, Acta Obstet. Gynocol. Scand. 63(Suppl.), 70 (1997).Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    J. Arnaud, A. Prual, P. Preziosi, et al., Effect of iron supplementation during pregnancy on trace element (Cu, Se, Zn) concentrations in serum and breast milk from Nigerien women, Ann. Nutr. Metab. 37, 262–271 (1993).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    S. Seshadri, Prevalence of micronutrient deficiency, particularly of iron, zinc and folic acid in pregnant women in S. East Asia, Br. J. Nutr. 85, 597–592 (2001).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Füsun Aydemir
    • 1
  • Ayhan O. Çavdar
    • 1
  • Feride Söylemez
    • 2
  • Bora Cengiz
    • 2
  1. 1.Unesco-Satellite Trace Element Center in Ankara, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Research Center of Ankara UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyMedical School of Ankara UniversityAnkaraTurkey

Personalised recommendations