Research: GONZALEZ and co-workers,

Listed in Issue 153

Abstract

GONZALEZ and co-workers, Departamento de Biologia Funcional, Area de Fisiologia, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain evaluated the effects of selenium levels upon quality of life indicators in older individuals.

Background

Selenium is of fundamental importance to human health. The researchers’ aim was to evaluate the effect of selenium (intake and serum levels) on subjective indicators of quality of life in older people, such as self-perceived health, chewing ability and physical activity.

Methodology

The sample was a cohort of 227 elderly people (93 men and 134 women) residing in 14 nursing homes in Asturias (Spain). Mean age +/- SD was 72.9+/-7.2 y and 76.4+/-5.9 y, for men and women respectively. Information was collected in personal interviews. Dietary intake was recorded by means of a food-frequency questionnaire. Selenium was determined in serum by graphite-furnace atomic absorption spectrometry.

Results

Serum selenium was associated with self-perceived health, chewing ability and physical activity in this sample. Subjects in the upper tertile of serum selenium had more than twice as much probability (Odds Ratios, 2.05 to 3.157) of reporting good health status, good chewing ability and of doing more than 60 min of exercise/day.

Conclusion

The maintenance of good serum selenium levels is important, since it may affect the self-perception of health, chewing ability, or physical activity and, consequently, the quality of life in elderly people.

References

Gonzalez S, Huerta JM,  Fernandez S,  Patterson AM and  Lasheras C. Life-quality indicators in elderly people are influenced by selenium status. Aging-Clinical & Experimental Research19(1):10-5. Feb 2007.

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