The association between selenium and lipid levels: A longitudinal study in rural elderly Chinese

Chen Chen, Yinlong Jin, Frederick W. Unverzagt, Yibin Cheng, Ann M. Hake, Chaoke Liang, Feng Ma, Liqin Su, Jingyi Liu, Jianchao Bian, Ping Li, Sujuan Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Objective: A protective effect of selenium on lipid levels has been reported in populations with relatively low selenium status. However, recent studies found that high selenium exposure may lead to adverse cardiometabolic effects, particularly in selenium-replete populations. We examined the associations of selenium status with changes in lipid levels in a 7-year follow up of an elderly Chinese cohort including participants from selenium-deplete areas. Methods: Study population consisted of 140 elderly Chinese aged 65 or older with nail selenium levels measured at baseline (2003-2005). Lipid concentrations were measured in fasting blood samples collected at baseline and the 7-year follow-up (2010-2012). Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) models was used to determine the association between baseline selenium status and changes in lipid levels from baseline to follow-up adjusting for other covariates. Results: Mean (±standard deviation) baseline selenium concentration was 0.41 ± 0.2. mg/kg. In prospective analysis, we found that individuals in the highest selenium quartile group showed 1.11 SD decrease on total-cholesterol (p < 0.001), 0.41 SD increase on HDL-cholesterol (p< 0.001) and 0.52 SD decrease on triglyceride after 7 years than those in the lowest selenium quartile group. The similar trends were seen with significant lipid changes in the 2nd and 3rd quartile groups. Conclusion: Selenium has modest beneficial effects on blood lipid levels in a population with relatively low selenium status. Our result suggests adequate dietary selenium intake as a potential prevention strategy for lowering lipid levels in selenium deplete populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Elderly Chinese
  • Lipids
  • Selenium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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