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Selenium Deficiency Is Widespread and Spatially Dependent in Ethiopia

Belay, Adamu; Joy, Edward J.M.; Chagumaira, Christopher; Zerfu, Dilnesaw; Ander, E. Louise; Young, Scott D.; Bailey, Elizabeth H.; Lark, R. Murray; Broadley, Martin R.; Gashu, Dawd

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Adamu Belay

Edward J.M. Joy

Christopher Chagumaira

Dilnesaw Zerfu

Principal Research Fellow

Scott D. Young

Professor of Environmental Geochemistry

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Professor of Geoinformatics

Dawd Gashu


: Selenium (Se) is an essential element for human health and livestock productivity. Globally, human Se status is highly variable, mainly due to the influence of soil types on the Se content of crops, suggesting the need to identify areas of deficiency to design targeted interventions. In sub-Saharan Africa, including Ethiopia, data on population Se status are largely unavailable, although previous studies indicated the potential for widespread Se deficiency. Serum Se concentration of a nationally representative sample of the Ethiopian population was determined, and these observed values were combined with a spatial statistical model to predict and map the Se status of populations across the country. The study used archived serum samples (n = 3269) from the 2015 Ethiopian National Micronutrient Survey (ENMS). The ENMS was a cross-sectional survey of young and school-age children, women and men. Serum Se concentration was measured using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS). The national median (Q1, Q3) serum Se concentration was 87.7 (56.7, 123.0) μg L-1. Serum Se concentration differed between regions, ranging from a median (Q1, Q3) of 54.6 (43.1, 66.3) µg L-1 in the Benishangul-Gumuz Region to 122.0 (105, 141) µg L-1 in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region and the Afar Region. Overall, 35.5% of the population were Se deficient, defined as serum Se

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 19, 2020
Online Publication Date May 27, 2020
Publication Date May 27, 2020
Deposit Date May 28, 2020
Publicly Available Date May 28, 2020
Journal Nutrients
Electronic ISSN 2072-6643
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 6
Article Number 1565
Keywords serum selenium; geospatial prediction; glutathione peroxidase 3; iodothyronine deiodinase; Ethiopia
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