Evaluation of status of toxic metals in biological samples of diabetes mellitus patients

There is accumulating evidence that the metabolism of several trace elements is altered in diabetes mellitus and that these nutrients might have specific roles in the pathogenesis and progress of this disease. The aim of present study was to compare the level of toxic elements, lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and arsenic (As) in biological samples (whole blood, urine, and scalp hair) of patients having diabetes mellitus type-2 age ranged (31–60) (n = 238), with those of age matched non-diabetics (ND) as control subjects (n = 196), of both genders.

The concentrations of elements were measured by means of an atomic absorption spectrophotometer after microwave-assisted acid digestion. The validity and accuracy was checked by conventional wet acid digestion method and using certified reference materials. The overall recoveries of all elements were found in the range of 98.1–99.4% of certified values.

The results of this study showed that the mean values of Pb, Cd and, As were significantly higher in scalp hair samples of smoker and non-smoker diabetic patients as compared to control subjects (p < 0.001). The concentration of understudy toxic metals was also high in blood and urine samples of DM patient but difference was more significant in smoker DM patients. These results are consistent with those obtained in other studies, confirming that toxic metals may play a role in the development of diabetes mellitus.

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