Plasma zinc and copper concentrations were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy in 57 patients with sickle cell anemia and in 45 control subjects from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Plasma zinc and copper levels in patients were found to be close to those of the control subjects. Similarly, there was a difference neither in urinary zinc level nor in the ratio Cu:Zn in patients and control subjects. This is in contrast to the situation which exists in North American Black subjects with sickle cell anemia, who are known to have zinc deficiency as well as a further decrease in zinc level during sickle cell crises. The near-normaLlevels of zinc and copper found in Saudi sickle cell patients therefore exclude zinc deficiency and confirm that this population exhibits a milder form of sickle cell anemia.

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