The trace element selenium is an essential micronutrient for human health and its low levels in serum are implicated in the pathogenesis of several chronic diseases. Therefore, the determination of total selenium in serum may contribute to the assessment of the health and nutritional status of certain populations. The objective of the present work was to determine total selenium in the serum of 506 healthy volunteers that participated in the ATTICA study. Selenium was determined in serum by using the technique of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The mean serum selenium concentration was determined to be 91.8 +/- 33.7 microg/L (N = 506); 87.6% of women and 88.5% of men had serum selenium concentration below 125 microg/L, the cutoff considered to be required for optimal glutathione peroxidase activity. No association was found between serum selenium levels and the gender of the participants while a significant decline of selenium with age (p < 0.0001) was observed. According to our results, no anthropometric, lifestyle, nutritional, or biochemical indices were able to affect the association between serum selenium and age. This result may indicate that other factors such as selenium distribution as well as retention may be affecting the relationship between serum selenium and age.