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Arterial structure and function and environmental exposure to cadmium
  1. Rudolph Schutte
  1. North-West University, South Africa
    1. Tim Nawrot
    1. University of Leuven, Belgium
      1. Tom Richart
      1. University of Leuven, Belgium
        1. Lutgarde Thijs
        1. University of Leuven, Belgium
          1. Harry A Roels
          1. Universit catholique de Louvain, Belgium
            1. Luc M Van Bortel
            1. Ghent University, Belgium
              1. Harry Struijker-Boudier
              1. Maastricht University, Netherlands
                1. Jan A Staessen (jan.staessen{at}
                1. University of Leuven, Belgium


                  Objectives: Few studies addressed the issue of cadmium toxicity on arterial properties. Methods: We investigated the possible association of the 24-h urinary cadmium excretion, an index of lifetime exposure, with measures of arterial function in a randomly selected popula-tion sample (n=557) from two rural areas with low and high environmental exposure to cad-mium. Results: 24-h urinary cadmium excretion was significantly higher in the high compared with the low exposure group (P<0.0001). Even though systolic (P=0.42), diastolic (P=0.14) and mean arterial pressure (P=0.68) did not differ between the high and low exposure groups, aortic pulse wave velocity (P=0.008), brachial pulse pressure (P=0.026) and femoral pulse pressure (P=0.008) were significantly lower in the high exposure group. Additionally, femoral distensibility (P<0.0001) and compliance (P=0.0013) were significantly higher at high expo-sure. Across quartiles of the 24-h urinary cadmium excretion (adjusted for sex and age), brachial (P for trend=0.015) and femoral (P for trend=0.018) pulse pressure significantly decreased and femoral distensibility (P for trend=0.008) and compliance (P for trend=0.007) significantly increased with higher cadmium excretion. After full adjustment, the partial regres-sion coefficients confirmed these associations. Pulse wave velocity (â=–0.79±0.27; P=0.004) and carotid (â=–4.20±1.51; P=0.006), brachial (â=–5.43±1.41; P=0.0001) and femoral (â=–4.72±1.74; P=0.007) pulse pressures correlated negatively, whereas femoral compliance (â=0.11±0.05; P=0.016) and distensibility (â=1.70±0.70; P=0.014) correlated positively with cadmium excretion. Conclusion: Increased cadmium body burden is associated with lower aortic pulse wave velocity, lower pulse pressure throughout the arterial system, and higher femoral distensibility.

                  • arterial function
                  • blood pressure
                  • cadmium
                  • epidemiology
                  • peripheral vascular disease

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