Selenium (Se) deficiency is reported by some authors to be an important factor in the etiology of esophageal cancer (EC) in the Golestan province of Iran. In order to further investigate the role of Se and selected trace elements in the occurrence of EC disease, 663 samples including 206 cultivated soils, 247 sediments, 45 loess deposits and 165 grain samples from 45 villages in the Golestan province of Iran were collected and analyzed. Villages in the study area were classified into 2 groups according to the EC incidence in the local population. The results of this study demonstrate that, contrary to the expected trend, total Se concentrations in soil, grain, sediment, and loess samples increase from the low to the high EC areas suggesting that Se deficiency does not play a major role in the etiology of EC. On the other hand, antimony (Sb), and strontium (Sr) content in soil, grain, loess, and sediment samples is much higher in the high esophageal cancer area, which may be a significant factor. Total zinc (Zn) concentrations in soil, grain, loess, and sediment samples decrease from the low to the high cancer areas. Therefore, Zn deficiency may be a significant factor in EC incidence rate in the Golestan province.
Science of the Total Environment – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2012
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