Urine selenium concentration is a useful biomarker for assessing population level selenium status

Felix P. Phiri*, E. Louise Ander, R. Murray Lark, Elizabeth H. Bailey, Benson Chilima, Jellita Gondwe, Edward J.M. Joy, Alexander A. Kalimbira, John C. Phuka, Parminder S. Suchdev, Daniel R.S. Middleton, Elliott M. Hamilton, Michael J. Watts, Scott D. Young, Martin R. Broadley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Plasma selenium (Se) concentration is an established population level biomarker of Se status, especially in Se-deficient populations. Previously observed correlations between dietary Se intake and urinary Se excretion suggest that urine Se concentration is also a potentially viable biomarker of Se status. However, there are only limited data on urine Se concentration among Se-deficient populations. Here, we test if urine is a viable biomarker for assessing Se status among a large sample of women and children in Malawi, most of whom are likely to be Se-deficient based on plasma Se status. Casual (spot) urine samples (n = 1406) were collected from a nationally representative sample of women of reproductive age (WRA, n =741) and school aged children (SAC, n=665) across Malawi as part of the 2015/16 Demographic and Health Survey. Selenium concentration in urine was determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Urinary dilution corrections for specific gravity, osmolality, and creatinine were applied to adjust for hydration status. Plasma Se status had been measured for the same survey participants. There was between-cluster variation in urine Se concentration that corresponded with variation in plasma Se concentration, but not between households within a cluster, or between individuals within a household. Corrected urine Se concentrations explained more of the between-cluster variation in plasma Se concentration than uncorrected data. These results provide new evidence that urine may be used in the surveillance of Se status at the population level in some groups. This could be a cost-effective option if urine samples are already being collected for other assessments, such as for iodine status analysis as in the Malawi and other national Demographic and Health Surveys.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105218
JournalEnvironment International
Volume134
Early online date09 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by the University of Nottingham (UoN) UK, the British Geological Survey (BGS) UK, and the Royal Society-Department for International Development (DFID) UK, under project AQ140000, ?Strengthening African capacity in soil geochemistry for agriculture and health?. We thank The Government of Malawi (Ministry of Health; Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development; National Statistics Office), and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), notably Katie Tripp, Anne Williams, and Carine Mapango, for enabling this work to be conducted, together with all of the participating field teams and volunteers.

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by the University of Nottingham (UoN) UK, the British Geological Survey (BGS) UK, and the Royal Society-Department for International Development (DFID) UK, under project AQ140000 , “ Strengthening African capacity in soil geochemistry for agriculture and health ”. We thank The Government of Malawi (Ministry of Health; Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development; National Statistics Office), and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), notably Katie Tripp, Anne Williams, and Carine Mapango, for enabling this work to be conducted, together with all of the participating field teams and volunteers. Appendix A

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors

Keywords

  • Biomarkers
  • Biomonitoring
  • Micronutrient survey
  • Selenium status
  • Sub Saharan Africa
  • Urine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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