Early kidney damage in a population exposed to cadmium and other heavy metals.

TitleEarly kidney damage in a population exposed to cadmium and other heavy metals.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsThomas LDK, Hodgson S, Nieuwenhuijsen M, Jarup L
JournalEnviron Health Perspect
Volume117
Issue2
Pagination181-4
Date Published2009 Feb
ISSN0091-6765
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cadmium, Female, Geography, Humans, Kidney, Male, Metals, Heavy, Middle Aged, Questionnaires, Regression Analysis, Sex Factors, Young Adult
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Exposure to heavy metals may cause kidney damage. The population living near the Avonmouth zinc smelter has been exposed to cadmium and other heavy metals for many decades.

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to assess Cd body burden and early signs of kidney damage in the Avonmouth population.

METHODS: We used dispersion modeling to assess exposure to Cd. We analyzed urine samples from the local population (n = 180) for Cd (U-Cd) to assess dose (body burden) and for three biomarkers of early kidney damage [N-acetyl-beta-d-glucosaminidase (U-NAG), retinol-binding protein, and alpha-1-microglobulin]. We collected information on occupation, intake of homegrown vegetables, smoking, and medical history by questionnaire.

RESULTS: Median U-Cd concentrations were 0.22 nmol/mmol creatinine (nonsmoking 0.18/smoking 0.40) and 0.34 nmol/mmol creatinine (nonsmoking 0.31/smoking 0.46) in non-occupationally exposed men and women, respectively. There was a significant dose-response relationship between U-Cd and the prevalence of early renal damage-defined as U-NAG > 0.22 IU/mmol-with odds ratios of 2.64 [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.70-9.97] and 3.64 (95% CI, 0.98-13.5) for U-Cd levels of 0.3 to < 0.5 and levels >or= 0.5 nmol/mmol creatinine, respectively (p for trend = 0.045).

CONCLUSION: U-Cd concentrations were close to levels where kidney and bone effects have been found in other populations. The dose-response relationship between U-Cd levels and prevalence of U-NAG above the reference value support the need for measures to reduce environmental Cd exposure.

DOI10.1289/ehp.11641
Alternate JournalEnviron. Health Perspect.
PubMed ID19270785