Several animal and human studies have shown that zinc is associated with cellular damage and cardiac dysfunction. This study aims to investigate dietary zinc and the zinc-iron ratio, as predictors of incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a large longitudinal study of mid-age Australian women (aged 50–61 years). Data was self-reported and validated food frequency questionnaires were used to assess dietary intake. Energy-adjusted zinc was ranked using quintiles and predictors of incident CVD were examined using stepwise logistic regression. After six years of follow-up, 320 incident CVD cases were established. A positive association between dietary zinc intake, zinc-iron ratio and risk of CVD was observed even after adjusting for potential dietary and non-dietary confounders. Compared to those with the lowest quintile of zinc, those in the highest quintile (Odds Ratio (OR) = 1.67, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 1.08–2.62) and zinc-iron ratio (OR = 1.72, 95% CI = 1.05–2.81) had almost twice the odds of developing CVD (p
trend = 0.007). This study shows that high dietary zinc intake and zinc-iron ratio is associated with a greater incidence of CVD in women. Further studies are required detailing the source of zinc and iron in diet and their precise roles when compared to other essential nutrients.
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