Trace Metal Content of Cerebral Vessels in American Blacks, Caucasians and Nigerian Africans
Trace metal contents of cerebral vessels in age-matched and sex-matched subjects from three population groups were estimated. The trace metals estimated included calcium, manganese, zinc, magnesium, copper and iron. The American blacks in Washington, D.C., who are ethnologically related to Nigerian Africans, have different patterns of trace metal contents in their cerebral vessels and the observed levels also differed in some respects from Minnesota Caucasians living in a similar environment. The greatest amounts of calcium, zinc, and copper were found in the vessels of American blacks while the greatest amount of magnesium was found in vessels of Minnesota Caucasians. There was no statistically significant difference in the manganese content of the cerebral vessels in the three population groups. Nigerian Africans had the least amounts of copper and magnesium but had the highest iron content. A similar high level of iron was observed in the vessels of American blacks. Since it has been shown that American blacks have the most extensive and severe degree of atherosclerosis among the three population groups, it would appear that iron, calcium and manganese in the cerebral vessels may not directly relate to the severity of cerebral atherosclerosis. Relatively high levels of copper and magnesium, which were observed in the cerebral vessels of American blacks and Caucasians, may be of significance in the pathogenesis of cerebral atherosclerosis. The low levels of the trace metals in Nigerians may be protective. The possible role of zinc requires further studies.
- © 1975 American Heart Association, Inc.