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Table 1 Zinc status of the elderly.

From: The immune system and the impact of zinc during aging

Subjects Zinc status Reference
204 males, 20 – 84 y. 54 females, 20 – 58 y. significant decrease of plasma zinc, but not erythrocyte zinc, with age [100]
146 elderly, 65–95 y. mean plasma levels below 85 μg/dL (= 13 μM) [102]
121 elderly, 60–97 y. Average zinc intake 7.3 mg/day, 6% had serum zinc under 70 μg/dL (= 10.7 μM) [132]
24 healthy, 69–85 y. 50 controls, 21–64 y. reduced plasma zinc compared to young controls [106]
20 chronically ill elderly, 70–85 y. compared to Bunker et al. 1984 no effect on plasma and whole blood zinc, but reduction of leukocyte zinc [107]
100 elderly, 60–89 y. 14.7% zinc deficient (<10.7 μM, plasma), >90% had intake below RDA (15 mg/ml in 1987) [123]
23 elderly, 65–85 y. 13 controls, 23–45 y. IL-2 production was lower in elderly with reduced leukocyte and neutrophil zinc [126]
232 hospitalized, 60–104 y. 25 free living, 69–94 y. serum and leukocyte zinc lower in hospitalized subjects [122]
53 healthy elderly, 64–95 y. serum zinc decreases with age, mean serum zinc within normal range, 65% had intake less than 2/3 RDA [105]
19 healthy, 51.3 m.a. 25 healthy, 77.7 m.a. 30 hospitalized, 80.8 m.a. 34 w/ulcers, 81.3 m.a. plasma zinc negatively correlated with age, plasma and leukocyte zinc lower in hospitalized elderly compared to both healthy control groups [121]
30 patients, 72–98 y. 12 healthy, 75–86 y. 23 controls, 18–55 y. plasma zinc significantly decreased in both groups of elderly, zinc is lowered in polymorphonuclear but not mononuclear cells of elderly patients [116]
118 subjects, 50–80 y. decrease in lymphocyte and granulocyte zinc, ~30% defined as zinc deficient [115]
21 elderly, 70–90 y. 20 young, 20–35 y. significantly lower serum zinc in the elderly [89]
81 hospitalized, 65–102 y. 61% of subjects zinc deficient (<10.7 μM) [119]
345 elderly, > 70 y. 19% had hypozincemia (<12.2 μM), values of nursing home residents significantly lower than free living [117]
29,103 subjects, NHANES III 42.5% of ≥71 y. had adequate zinc intake [108]
62 healthy, 90–106 y. zinc deficiency in 52% male and 41% female subjects, based on a reference range established in 20–64 y. controls [112]
44 oldest old, 90–107 y. 44 elderly, 65–89 y. 44 young, 20–64 y. serum zinc significantly reduced in oldest old compared to elderly and young [101]
50 hospitalized, 83.5 m.a. 28% deficient (<10.7 μM serum zinc) [118]
13,463 subjects, NHANES II Correlation between serum zinc and age, decline starts at age 25 [104]
10 oldest old, 93–102 y. 15 old, 65–80 y. 15 young, 20–40 y. 10 infected, 63–75 y. Significantly lower zinc in both groups of older subjects compared to younger ones, no decrease from old to oldest old Lowest levels found in infected patients [113]
101 elderly, 56–83 y. 35% zinc deficient (<90 μg/dL plasma zinc) [33]
668 hospitalized, 80.4 m.a. 105 healthy, 80.9 m.a. 20.2% zinc deficient (<70 μg/dL (or 10.7 μM) serum zinc) in the hospitalized, none in the healthy controls [120]
188 aged, 55–70 y. 199 older 70–85 y. Erythrocyte zinc lower and urinary zinc higher in the older participants. Less than 5% had insufficient zinc uptake (< 2/3 RDA) [103]
93 healthy elderly, 55–70 y. Average of 13.0 μM serum zinc [134, 139]
67 elderly, 71.7 m.a. Mean serum zinc 61.8 μg/dL (= 9.4 μM), 76.3% zinc deficient (<70 μg/dL or 10.7 μM) [114]
  1. NHANES: National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, RDA: Recommended Daily Allowance, y.: years, m.a.: mean age