Serum copper and zinc in random samples of the population of Northern Ireland

Dorothy McMaster*, Evelyn McCrum, Christopher C. Patterson, Malcolm Mc F. Kerr, Dermot O'Reilly, Alun E. Evans, Andrew H.G. Love

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Serum copper and zinc concentrations (μmol/L) were measured in nonfasting subjects aged 25-64 y participating in two independent population surveys in Northern Ireland. In 1983-84, copper in 1144 males was 17.2 ± 3.1 (x̄ ± SD) and zinc was 12.1 ± 1.7 (SD). Copper in 1055 females, neither pregnant nor taking estrogens or progestogens, was 19.0 ± 3.9 and zinc was 11.6 ± 1.4. In 1986-87 copper in 1142 males was 17.9 ± 3.3 and zinc was 13.2 ± 2.1. Copper in 1034 females was 20.1 ± 3.9 and zinc was 12.7 ± 2.0. Zinc but not copper concentrations decreased from early morning to late afternoon; both were unaffected by reported postprandial time. There was a positive relationship between copper and age for both sexes but zinc showed only a slight upward trend with age. A positive relationship between copper and the aggregation of classical risk factors for coronary heart disease was demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-446
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 1992


  • Age
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Copper
  • Diurnal variation
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Postprandial variation
  • Sex
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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