Title: Combined exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic and kidney health in adolescents age 12-19 in NHANES 2009-2014.
Authors: Sanders, Alison P; Mazzella, Matthew J; Malin, Ashley J; Hair, Gleicy M; Busgang, Stefanie A; Saland, Jeffrey M; Curtin, Paul
Published In Environ Int, (2019 10)
Abstract: Occupational and environmental exposures to toxic metals are established risk factors for the development of hypertension and kidney disease in adults. There is some evidence of developmental metal nephrotoxicity in children and from animal studies; however, to our knowledge no previous studies have examined associations between co-exposure to nephrotoxic environmental metals and children's kidney health.The objective of this study was to assess the association between co-exposure to lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), and arsenic (As), measured in urine and blood, and kidney parameters in US adolescents.We performed a cross-sectional analysis of a subsample of 2709 children aged 12-19 participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2009 and 2014. We analyzed urine levels of 4 nephrotoxic metals selected a priori (As, Cd, Pb and Hg), Umix, and 3 nephrotoxic metals in blood (Cd, Pb, and Hg), Bmix, using a weighted quantile sum (WQS) approach. We applied WQS regression to analyze the association of Bmix and Umix with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), serum uric acid (SUA), urine albumin, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and systolic blood pressure (SBP), adjusting for sex, race/ethnicity, age, head of household's education level, height, BMI, serum cotinine, and NHANES cohort year. Umix and urine albumin models were also adjusted for urine creatinine, and Bmix models were also adjusted for fish consumption. Subanalyses included stratification by sex and an arsenic-only model including six speciated forms of As measured in urine.In WQS regression models, each decile increase of Umix was associated with 1.6% (95% CI: 0.5, 2.8) higher BUN, 1.4% (95% CI: 0.7, 2.0) higher eGFR, and 7.6% (95% CI: 2.4, 13.1) higher urine albumin. The association between Umix and BUN was primarily driven by As (72%), while the association with eGFR was driven by Hg (61%), and Cd (17%), and the association with urine albumin was driven by Cd (37%), Hg (33%), and Pb (25%). There was no significant relationship between Umix and SUA or SBP. In WQS models using the combined blood metals, Bmix, each decile increase of Bmix was associated with 0.6% (95% CI: 0.0, 1.3) higher SUA; this association was driven by Pb (43%), Hg (33%), and Cd (24%) and was marginally significant (p = 0.05). No associations were observed between Bmix and urine albumin, eGFR, BUN, or SBP.The findings suggest metals including As, Pb, Hg, Cd and their combinations may affect renal parameters, although potential reverse causation cannot be ruled out due to the cross-sectional study design. Implications of early life low-level exposure to multiple metals on kidney function may have far-reaching consequences later in life in the development of hypertension, kidney disease, and renal dysfunction. Longitudinal studies should further evaluate these relationships.
PubMed ID: 31326826
MeSH Terms: Adolescent; Arsenic/blood*; Arsenic/urine*; Cross-Sectional Studies; Environmental Exposure/analysis*; Female; Humans; Kidney/physiology*; Male; Metals, Heavy/blood*; Metals, Heavy/urine*; Nutrition Surveys; United States