Author(s): AlKunani AS, Knight R, Haswell SJ, Thompson JW, Lindow SW
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To assess the relationship between selenium levels in human blood and hair, and the risk of recurrent miscarriages. DESIGN: Case-control study. PARTICIPANTS: Two groups of non-pregnant women: 18 women with one or more successful pregnancies and no history of miscarriage (control group); 26 women with a history of recurrent miscarriage (> or = 3) with no subsequent successful pregnancies (study group). METHODS: Samples of venous blood and scalp hair were collected and the selenium content analysed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. RESULTS: No significance difference was found between the level of selenium in the blood samples of the women in each group. There was a significant reduction in the mean hair selenium level in the recurrent miscarriage group compared with the control group (0.14 microg/g vs 0.34 microg/g). Further analysis of the recurrent miscarriage group revealed no relationship between levels of serum or hair selenium with parity. There was a significantly greater proportion of women in the control group who ate cereals, vitamin supplements, and liver or kidney. CONCLUSION: There was evidence of selenium deficiency in women with recurrent miscarriages compared with a control group of women with a good reproductive performance. This difference was seen in hair samples but not serum samples and therefore may not represent a simple nutritional deficiency. The importance of selenium deficiency in miscarriage has still not been determined.
This article was published in BJOG
and referenced in Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health