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The association of selenium levels with markers of cardiovascular disease

Leonard, Kelsey (2016) The association of selenium levels with markers of cardiovascular disease. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Background: Oxidative stress is a key precursor to atherosclerosis, endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffness, which are three mechanisms of the progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Selenium (Se) is an essential mineral that comprises at least 25 selenoproteins in humans. Many of these selenoproteins play antioxidant roles that are crucial to arterial health and endothelial function. A 2015 meta-analysis of observational studies proposed that CVD risk is significantly decreased only within the narrow selenium range of 55 to 145 µg/L.

Methods: Data were previously collected from the Women and Infant Study of Healthy Hearts (WISH). Serum samples from this study were analyzed to determine Se concentrations using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). The distribution of Se in this sample was examined as were linear and quadratic associations with carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), pulse wave velocity (PWV) and flow mediated dilation (FMD). Sub-group analyses were performed to examine these relationships within and outside of the reported beneficial range of Se status.

Results: Se concentrations ranged from 58 to 598 µg/L, with a median of 172 µg/L. No participants were deficient in Se, but 74% had selenium levels higher than 145 µg/L. The distribution of Se was skewed left, so Se levels were natural log transformed for the analyses. Quadratic relationships between Se level and cIMT, FMD and PWV had better fit compared to linear relationships. There were no significant associations between Se status and cIMT (p=0.14), PWV (p=0.51) or FMD (p=0.51). There was a significant linear relationship between Se levels greater than 145 µg/L and PWV (p=0.006).

Conclusions: On average, the sample had good cardiovascular health and was relatively young to observe subclinical CVD progression. There may be an inverse association between selenium status and pulse wave velocity, a marker of arterial stiffness. This novel finding may lead to a greater understanding of the mechanisms of arterial stiffness, a major risk factor for CVD, which has great public health importance.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBelle,
Committee MemberEvans,
Committee MemberCatov,
Committee MemberHutcheson,
Date: 29 June 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 20 April 2016
Approval Date: 29 June 2016
Submission Date: 28 April 2016
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 47
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: selenium imt fmd pwv cardiovascular disease
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2016 18:13
Last Modified: 01 May 2018 05:15


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