- High levels of plasma zinc were associated with decreased lung cancer risk and telomere attrition, but only in men.
- Zinc levels were associated with expression of 8 cancer-related genes.
Why this matters
- Zinc is one of the most frequently detected trace elements and is involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, and metabolic function.
- Nested case-control study of 440 patients with lung cancer and 1320 control patients from the Dongfeng-Tongji (DFTJ) cohort study.
- Funding: National Natural Scientific Foundation of China; others.
- Zinc plasma levels were associated with reduced risk for lung cancer overall (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.79-0.99), driven by an effect in men (OR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.74-0.99).
- Lung cancer risk was lower in male smokers with high zinc plasma levels (OR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.52-0.99) compared with smokers with low zinc levels.
- Male participants with high zinc levels had less 4-year telomere attrition (P<.001 but there was no association in women>
- Zinc levels were associated with expression of 8 cancer-related genes that are upregulated in lung tumor tissue: SOD1, APE, TP53BP1, WDR33, LAPTM4B, TRIT1, HUWE1, and ZNF813.
- Ln-transformed nuts consumption was associated with increased plasma zinc level (β, 0.054; P=.014).
- Plasma levels of essential metals measured only at baseline.