Association between Dietary Zinc Intake, Serum Zinc Level and Multiple Comorbidities in Older Adults


Zinc is one of the essential micronutrients in the geriatric population, but the importance of zinc status and dietary zinc intake has been poorly characterized. We aimed to explore the relationships among dietary zinc intake, serum zinc concentrations and multimorbidity in a cross-sectional study of 300 employees of Electric Generating Authority of Thailand aged ≥ 60 years. Comprehensive questionnaires were completed, and clinical and laboratory assessments were performed. Factors associated with low serum zinc concentrations were identified using multivariate multinomial logistic regression analyses. The mean serum zinc level was 80.5 (12.8) µg/dL. After adjustment for baseline characteristics, being female and having been in education for ≤12 years were independent risk factors for the lowest tertile (T1) of serum zinc. After additional adjustment for clinical and biochemical parameters, there was a significant association between depression (Thai Geriatric Depression Scale-15 score > 5) and low serum zinc levels (T1 vs. T3, odds ratio (OR): 2.24; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.06-4.77). Furthermore, as serum albumin increased, serum zinc concentration substantially increased (T1 vs. T3, OR: 0.01; 95% CI: 0.002-0.070). Therefore, the early detection of risk factors and the further management of depression and low serum albumin may assist physicians in preventing low serum concentrations.

Authors: Sirasa Ruangritchankul, Chutima Sumananusorn, Jintana Sirivarasai, Wutarak Monsuwan, Piyamitr Sritara
; Full Source: Nutrients 2023 Jan 9;15(2):322. doi: 10.3390/nu15020322.