Background: The metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors which predicts future cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Evidences have showed that a disorder in serum Copper (Cu) level could have effects on human health. However, little data are available regarding how serum Cu affects metabolic syndrome in adults.

Method: Data from 3,375 subjects were examined from a nationally representative sample of the U.S. adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011-2014. The metabolic syndrome was defined as satisfying three or more of the five criteria from the National Cholesterol Education Panel definition. Multivariate logistic and linear regression were applied to investigate the associations of serum Cu levels with metabolic syndrome prevalence and its component.

Results: In the logistic models, non-Hispanic black with the highest serum Cu levels demonstrated a greater increase in risk of metabolic syndrome (OR: 2.69, 95% CI: 1.08-6.70, P for trend= 0.001) when compared to those with the lowest serum Cu levels. Moreover, we identified a remarkable association between serum Cu levels and high fasting blood glucose condition in non-Hispanic black (OR: 2.44, 95% CI: 1.04-5.76, P for trend= 0.031). No significant associations between serum Cu level and other components of metabolic syndrome were observed, regardless of race. In the linear regressions, a strong positive association between serum Cu levels and fasting blood glucose was also observed (coefficient= 0.231, 95% CI: 0.053-0.409, P< 0.001) in non-Hispanic black.

Conclusion: Our results provide the first epidemiological evidence that serum Cu concentrations may be positively associated with the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and with fasting blood glucose in non-Hispanic black. Further clinical and animal studies are urgently needed to clarify the putative causal relationships.


X. He: None. Y. Yu: None. Q. Lou: None. W. Tang: None.

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