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Trace element profile and incidence of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer: results from the EPIC-Potsdam cohort study

Cabral, Maria; Kuxhaus, Olga; Eichelmann, Fabian; Kopp, Johannes F.; Alker, Wiebke; Hackler, Julian; Kipp, Anna P.; Schwerdtle, Tanja; Haase, Hajo; Schomburg, Lutz; Schulze, Matthias B.

Purpose: We aimed to examine the prospective association between manganese, iron, copper, zinc, iodine, selenium, selenoprotein P, free zinc, and their interplay, with incident type 2 diabetes (T2D), cardiovascular disease (CVD) and colorectal cancer (CRC). Methods: Serum trace element (TE) concentrations were measured in a case-cohort study embedded within the EPIC-Potsdam cohort, consisting of a random sub-cohort (n = 2500) and incident cases of T2D (n = 705), CVD (n = 414), and CRC (n = 219). TE patterns were investigated using principal component analysis. Cox proportional hazard models were fitted to examine the association between TEs with T2D, CVD and CRC incidence. Results: Higher manganese, zinc, iodine and selenium were associated with an increased risk of developing T2D (HR Q5 vs Q1: 1.56, 1.09–2.22; HR per SD, 95% CI 1.18, 1.05–1.33; 1.09, 1.01–1.17; 1.19, 1.06–1.34, respectively). Regarding CVD, manganese, copper and copper-to-zinc ratio were associated with an increased risk (HR per SD, 95% CI 1.13, 1.00–1.29; 1.22, 1.02–1.44; 1.18, 1.02–1.37, respectively). The opposite was observed for higher selenium-to-copper ratio (HR Q5 vs Q1, 95% CI 0.60, 0.39–0.93). Higher copper and zinc were associated with increasing risk of developing CRC (HR per SD, 95% CI 1.29, 1.05–1.59 and 1.14, 1.00–1.30, respectively). Selenium, selenoprotein P and selenium-to-copper-ratio were associated to decreased risk (HR per SD, 95% CI 0.82, 0.69–0.98; 0.81, 0.72–0.93; 0.77, 0.65–0.92, respectively). Two TE patterns were identified: manganese–iron–zinc and copper–iodine–selenium. Conclusion: Different TEs were associated with the risk of developing T2D, CVD and CRC. The contrasting associations found for selenium with T2D and CRC point towards differential disease-related pathways.
Published in: European Journal of Nutrition, 10.1007/s00394-021-02494-3, Springer Nature