Background / Aims: Deficiencies or excessive (above optimum) concentrations of some trace elements can lead to undesirable pathological conditions. This study aims to evaluate the status and interrelationship of trace elements in 9 year old Pacific children who were part of the Pacific Island Study.
Methods: This cross-sectional study included 278 eligible nine year old children. Elements such as calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, mercury, lead and cadmium in children were determined in toenail clippings and analysed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Principal component analysis and multivariate ANOVA was used to identify differences in the groups of trace elements.
Results:It was observed that the mean selenium (0.35 µg/g Se), calcium (868 µg/g Ca) and zinc (129 µg/g Zn) concentrations were lower than the required optimal health concentrations for toenails. Mean lead (0.86 µg/g Pb), cadmium (0.21 µg/g Cd) and mercury (0.72 µg/g Hg) concentrations were higher than the optimal health requirements. Ethnic differences in relation to toenail elemental concentrations were observed for iron, and aluminium. Gender differences were observed for Manganese, Antimony, Aluminium, Arsenic and lead.
Conclusions: This research contributes to the understanding of the elemental concentrations for Pacific people using toenail clippings which can be used to guide public health policy and education on children’s nutrition in Pacific Island population.
Counties Manukau Health