Maternal and Neonatal Zinc and Copper Levels and Birth Weight

Document Type: Original Article


1 Neonatal Research Center, School of Medicine, Ghaem Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of nutrition and biochemistry, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Cardiovascular Research Center, Avicenna (Bu-Ali) Research Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Head of Educational and Student Services

5 Resident of pediatrics, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Introduction Minerals and trace elements such as zinc and copper have significant influence on development and growth of the fetus and newborn. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between low birth weight and maternal and neonatal zinc, copper levels. Materials and Methods This case – control study   was done from September 2006 to Sep 2007 consisted of 65 infants with birth weight < 2500 g and 65 infants weighing ≥ 2500g.  Cord and maternal blood samples collected at delivery were analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry for zinc and copper levels.
 Results Mean serum zinc levels in maternal (P=0.001) and the cord blood (P=0.49) were 6.35 ± 2.09 µmol/l, 12.77±3.83 mol/l and 7.57±1.75 µmol/l , 13.18±2.69 µmol/l of cases  and control groups ,respectively.The mean copper levels in maternal (P=0.62) and cord blood (P=0.005) were 21.82±4.45 µmol/l, 5.12±1.54 µmol/l and  21.19 ± 5.34 µmol/l and  3.65±2.04 µmol /l of control and case group, respectively.
Conclusion This study indicated that there is a relationship between birth weight less than 2500 gr and maternal zinc levels (P<0.001). Mothers with zinc levels less than 6.4 mol/l were 3.8 time more at risk of having an infant with birth weight less than 2500 g. Lower maternal weight (less than 55kg), was associated with 4.2times increase risk of having low birth weight infants.