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Urinary heavy metals and associated medical conditions in the US adult population

Health effects of heavy metals have been widely investigated, but further evaluation is required to comprehensively delineate their toxicity. Using data from the 2007–2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed on 1,857 adults to examine the relationship between urinary heavy metals and various medical conditions. Cardiovascular diseases were correlated to cadmium (OR: 4.94, 95% CI: 1.48–16.56) and lead (OR: 5.32, 95% CI: 1.08–26.21). Asthma was related to tungsten (OR: 1.72, 95% CI: 1.15–2.59) and uranium (OR: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.01–2.28). Hepatotoxicity was associated with molybdenum (OR: 3.09, 95% CI: 1.24–7.73) and uranium (OR: 4.79, 95% CI: 1.74–13.19). Surprising inverse relationships occurred for excessive weight with lead (OR: 0.72, 95% CI: 0.52–0.98), reduced visual acuity with cobalt (OR: 0.65, 95% CI: 0.44–0.95) and cesium (OR: 0.52, 95% CI: 0.35–0.77). This study supports some previous evidence of potential relationships and provides insights for future research.

Published on 02-21-2013