Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Low zinc and copper levels might cause spontaneous abortion, study suggests

Date:
September 28, 2011
Source:
University of Granada
Summary:
Spontaneous abortion is estimated to affect 15 percent of women, mainly in the first trimester of pregnancy. Now researchers in Spain believe they have evidence to show that low zinc and copper levels may be a culprit.

Scientists at the University of Granada have confirmed that a low plasma level of copper and zinc in pregnant women may be a factor associated with spontaneous abortion, a hypothesis that had not been confirmed to date, and which had never been proven in humans before.

For the purpose of this study, 265 pregnant women participated in the tests. From these 265 women, 132 had suffered a spontaneous miscarriage during that year. The rest (other 133) were women with evolutionary pregnancy, selected among pregnant women attending an scheduled birth control appointment. All of them underwent an ultrasound examination, and were taken a blood sample for laboratory tests. Additionally, they were asked to answer a questionnaire. In total, 131 variables were assessed from each participant.

Differences in plasma concentrations

The data obtained from the group of women who had suffered a miscarriage were compared with those obtained from the group of women with a normal process of pregnancy. The results proved the existence of differences in maternal plasma concentrations of copper and zinc. This finding suggests that maternal deficiency of one or both trace elements may be associated with the occurrence of spontaneous abortion, which opens new and interesting lines of research in this area so far unexplored.

Apart from the influence that copper and zinc may have on the occurrence of abortions, the research conducted at the UGR has provided relevant information about other variables previously studied, but significantly unknown as homocysteine​​, preconception and prenatal supplementation with iodine and folate, thyroid dysfunction or consumption of drugs in the first weeks of pregnancy.

This study was carried out by Jesús Joaquín Hijona Elósegui, a researcher at the Department of Pharmacology of the University of Granada, and conducted by professors Manuel García Morillas and Juan Antonio Maldonado Jurado.

UGR scientists determined that most of pregnancies (64 percent) that ended in abortion in the study were planned, although only 12 percent of patients had used the recommended supplements of iodine and folate before attempting pregnancy (These substances have been proven to decrease the rate of abortions and malformations). In addition, a third of the women who had a miscarriage reported to be regular smokers and 16.6 percent regularly consumed coffee at a dose that exceeded the abortifacient and teratogenic threshold. The consumption of tobacco and caffeine on certain doses has been strongly associated with the occurrence of spontaneous abortion.

During pregnancy, 81.07 percent of the women who suffered a miscarriage had taken some drug officially contraindicated during pregnancy, and 13.63 percent were exposed to some drug considered dangerous during pregnancy.

The most frequent complication

As doctor Hijona points out "despite the significant progress made in reproductive medicine, spontaneous abortion is still the most frequent complication during pregnancy. It is estimated to affect 15 percent of pregnant women, mainly during the first trimester. Although most of the time it is not recurring, there is a recurrence of two to five percent among women who have already suffered a miscarriage."

There are data available showing an increase in the number of miscarriages among the Spanish population. In recent years, the number of pregnant women who suffers a miscarriage has increased gradually. This is not only due to the increase in the number of pregnancies, but also to the increase in the percentage of miscarriages -from 10.39 percent in 2003 to 13.70 percent in 2010).

The results obtained in this study were published in the Spanish journals Progresos de Obstetricia y Ginecología (the official journal of the Spanish Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics), in Toko-Ginecología Práctica, and in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Granada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Granada. "Low zinc and copper levels might cause spontaneous abortion, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110928105859.htm>.
University of Granada. (2011, September 28). Low zinc and copper levels might cause spontaneous abortion, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110928105859.htm
University of Granada. "Low zinc and copper levels might cause spontaneous abortion, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110928105859.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) — Richard van As lost all fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident. Now, he's used the incident to create a prosthetic to help hundreds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins