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The effects of zinc, copper, and selenium on human congenital heart defects (CHDs) remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate the associations of the maternal total, dietary, and supplemental intakes of zinc, copper, and selenium during pregnancy with CHDs. A hospital-based case-control study was performed, including 474 cases and 948 controls in Northwest China. Eligible participants waiting for delivery were interviewed to report their diets and characteristics in pregnancy. Mixed logistic regression was adopted to examine associations and interactions between maternal intakes and CHDs. Higher total intakes of zinc, selenium, zinc to copper ratio, and selenium to copper ratio during pregnancy were associated with lower risks of total CHDs and the subtypes, and the tests for trend were significant (all p < 0.05). The significantly inverse associations with CHDs were also observed for dietary intakes of zinc, selenium, zinc to copper ratio, selenium to copper ratio, and zinc and selenium supplements use during pregnancy and in the first trimester. Moreover, high zinc and high selenium, even with low or high copper, showed a significantly reduced risk of total CHDs. Efforts to promote zinc and selenium intakes during pregnancy need to be strengthened to reduce the incidence of CHDs in the Chinese population.


Jiaomei Yang, Yijun Kang, Qianqian Chang, Binyan Zhang, Xin Liu, Lingxia Zeng, Hong Yan, Shaonong Dang. Maternal Zinc, Copper, and Selenium Intakes during Pregnancy and Congenital Heart Defects. Nutrients. 2022 Mar 02;14(5)

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PMID: 35268030

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