Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Medical Laboratory Science, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria

2 Department of Chemical Pathology, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria

3 Department of Optometry, Imo State University, Owerri, Nigeria



Background: Heavy metal (HM) toxicity has been described as a risk factor for the development of prostate disease in men and its assessment could predict susceptibility to prostate cancer (PCa). The current study aimed to assess the levels of HM (selenium [Se], copper [Cu], chromium [Cr] and lead [Pb], iron [Fe], zinc [Zn], magnesium [Mg], and cobalt [Co]) in men with PCa.
Method: 90 men aged 40 to 75 years, including 30 men with PCa, 30 with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and 30 controls, were recruited in this case-control study. Prostate specific antigen (PSA) was estimated via enzyme linked immunosorbent assay and heavy metals with atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Body mass index (BMI) was also determined.
Results: The men with PCa had significantly higher BMI, PSA, Fe, and Pb and lower Mg, Zn, Cu, and Se compared to the controls. They also had higher PSA, Fe, and Co compared to the BPH (P < 0.05). Those with BPH had higher BMI, PSA, and Fe and lower Mg, Zn, Cu, Se, and Co compared to the controls (P < 0.05). Zn was positively correlated with Mg (r = 0.937, P < 0.001, Cu (r = 0.548, P = 0.002), Se (r = 0.731, P < 0.001, and Co (r=0.733, P < 0.001 only in the men with PCa. Levels of Cu, Mg, and Se were associated with the risk of BPH and PCa.
Conclusion: The men with prostate disease were found to have higher levels of lead and iron and lower magnesium, copper, selenium, and zinc, which necessitate assessment of these elements for early detection prostate cancer and monitoring the progression of the disease.


This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination, and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi:10.30476/mejc.2021.86638.1361