Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.51(1) > 1081558

J Nutr Health. 2018 Feb;51(1):40-49. Korean.
Published online February 28, 2018.
© 2018 The Korean Nutrition Society
Independent correlates of the toenail chromium level and the association between the chromium level and dyslipidemia
Yeji Kang,** Yujin Lee,** Jakyung Son and Kyong Park
Department of Food and Nutrition, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan, Gyeongbuk 38541, Republic of Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-53-810-2879, Email:

**These authors contributed equally to this article.

Received October 24, 2017; Revised November 25, 2017; Accepted February 08, 2018.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



The number of patients with dyslipidemia have been increasing steadily over the past few decades in South Korea. The association between the chromium level and chronic disease has attracted considerable interest, but few studies have been conducted on the Korean population. The aim of this study was to identify the dietary and non-dietary correlates of the toenail chromium level, and evaluate the association between the toenail chromium level and dyslipidemia.


The baseline data of an ongoing prospective cohort study in Yeungnam area in South Korea were analyzed. A total of 500 participants aged 35 years or older who completed questionnaires on their demographics, lifestyle characteristics, and medical information were included. The toenail chromium level was analyzed by neutron activation analysis. The dietary intake was assessed using a validated 146-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. The blood lipid profiles were obtained from medical examinations conducted by the Korean National Health Insurance Service or medical institutions.


Higher chromium levels were associated with the residential area (urban), higher education level, higher intakes of noodles and vegetables, and lower intake of fruits. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that the toenail chromium levels were not associated significantly with the prevalence of dyslipidemia (odds ratio: 0.99, 95% confidence interval: 0.61 ~ 1.60).


This study is the first study in Korea to determine the independent correlates of the toenail chromium levels and the association between chromium exposure and dyslipidemia. These findings provide useful scientific evidence for the development of chromium intake guidelines for the Korean population.

Keywords: chromium; dyslipidemia; toenail; correlates; Korea


Table 1
General characteristics of the study participants according to tertiles of toenail chromium levels
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Table 2
General characteristics of the study participants with and without dyslipidemia
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Table 3
Dietary and non-dietary correlates of toenail chromium levels
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Table 4
Odds ratio and 95% confidence interval for dyslipidemia and its components according to toenail chromium levels
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This work was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (NRF-2017R1A1A3A04069759). The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

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