Serum concentrations of heavy metals in women with endometrial polyps

Yılmaz B. , Evliyaoğlu Ö., Yorgancı A., Özyer Ş., Üstün Y. E.

Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, vol.40, no.4, pp.541-545, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/01443615.2019.1634022
  • Title of Journal : Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Page Numbers: pp.541-545
  • Keywords: Copper/zinc ratio, endometrial polyps, heavy metals, metalloestrogens


© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.Endometrial polyps are one of the common reasons of abnormal uterine bleeding in women. Industrialisation, urbanisation and increased air pollution cause increased heavy metal exposure. Heavy metals that have oestrogenic effects in human body are named as metalloestrogens. The aim of this study was to investigate the serum metalloestrogen levels such as copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), aluminium (Al), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni) and Cu/Zn ratio and their possible relationship with the occurrence of endometrial polyps. Eighty women with abnormal uterine bleeding were divided into two groups: 40 women diagnosed with endometrial polyp (study group) and 40 women without endometrial polyp (control group). Ages, body mass indices, smoking behaviours, drinking water choices, chronic diseases and intrauterine device histories were noted for all patients. Blood levels of Cu, Zn, Al, Pb, Ni and Cu/Zn ratio were analysed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry method for both groups. No statistically significant differences were observed in terms of serum median levels of Cu and Pb between the study and the control groups. The serum median levels of Zn, Ni and Al were found to be statistically lower in the study group when compared with the control group. The Cu/Zn ratio was statistically higher in the study group. High Cu/Zn ratio, as a biomarker of oxidative stress, suggests the role of oxidative stress in etiopathogenesis of endometrial polyps.IMPACT STATEMENTWhat is already known on this subject? Studies demonstrate that oestrogen and progesterone play an important role in pathogenesis of endometrial polyps. Inorganic heavy metal ions that bind and activate oestrogen receptors are referred to as ‘metalloestrogens’. Apart from toxic effects, metalloestrogens have been linked to the aetiology of oestrogen-dependent diseases such as breast and endometrium cancer and endometriosis. However, serum levels of heavy metals were not investigated in a large group of endometrial polyp patients. What do the results of this study add? This is the first study investigating the serum levels of heavy metals in a large group of endometrial polyp patients. We did not observe any increased serum levels of heavy metals in endometrial polyp patients. Our results might suggest that oestrogenic heavy metal exposure has no role in the appearance of endometrial polyps. However, increased Cu/Zn ratio due to low serum levels zinc suggests oxidative stress might play a role in endometrial polyps. What are the implications of these findings for clinical practice and/or further research? Further research of heavy metals in endometrial polyps with simultaneous blood and tissue samples could show the precise effect of environmental exposure of metalloestrogens in aetiopathogenesis of endometrial polyps.