Research Article

Serum selenium concentration related to myocardial infarction and fatty acid content of serum lipids.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 287 doi: (Published 20 August 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;287:517
  1. T A Miettinen,
  2. G Alfthan,
  3. J K Huttunen,
  4. J Pikkarainen,
  5. V Naukkarinen,
  6. S Mattila,
  7. T Kumlin


    A longitudinal case-control study of 33 patients with one or more risk factors for coronary heart disease and 64 controls showed that the serum selenium concentration (range 0.63-1.33 mumol/l (50-105 micrograms/l] was not associated with development of clinical manifestations of coronary heart disease during a follow up of five to seven years. The content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially eicosapentaenoic acid, in serum cholesterol esters and phospholipids was positively correlated with selenium concentration. As a low content of polyunsaturated fatty acids in serum lipids was an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease in these subjects it may be hypothesised that the high coronary risk in subjects with a very low serum selenium concentration (less than 0.57 mumol/l (less than 45 micrograms/l] might be due not to selenium deficiency but to the coexisting low concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids in serum.