End-stage renal disease and low level exposure to lead, cadmium and mercury; a population-based, prospective nested case-referent study in Sweden

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


Background: Cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and mercury (Hg) cause toxicological renal effects, but the clinical relevance at low-level exposures in general populations is unclear. The objective of this study is to assess the risk of developing end-stage renal disease in relation to Cd, Pb, and Hg exposure. Methods: A total of 118 cases who later in life developed end-stage renal disease, and 378 matched (sex, age, area, and time of blood sampling) referents were identified among participants in two population-based prospective cohorts (130,000 individuals). Cd, Pb, and Hg concentrations were determined in prospectively collected samples. Results: Erythrocyte lead was associated with an increased risk of developing end-stage renal disease (mean in cases 76 mu g/L; odds ratio (OR) 1.54 for an interquartile range increase, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.18-2.00), while erythrocyte mercury was negatively associated (2.4 mu g/L; OR 0.75 for an interquartile range increase, CI 0.56-0.99). For erythrocyte cadmium, the OR of developing end-stage renal disease was 1.15 for an interquartile range increase (CI 0.99-1.34; mean Ery-Cd among cases: 1.3 mu g/L). The associations for erythrocyte lead and erythrocyte mercury, but not for erythrocyte cadmium, remained after adjusting for the other two metals, smoking, BMI, diabetes, and hypertension. Gender-specific analyses showed that men carried almost all of the erythrocyte lead and erythrocyte cadmium associated risks. Conclusions: Erythrocyte lead is associated with end-stage renal disease but further studies are needed to evaluate causality. Gender-specific analyses suggest potential differences in susceptibility or in exposure biomarker reliability.


  • Johan Nilsson Sommar
  • Maria K. Svensson
  • Bodil M. Bjor
  • Sölve Elmståhl
  • Goran Hallmans
  • Thomas Lundh
  • Staffan M. I. Schon
  • Staffan Skerfving
  • Ingvar A. Bergdahl
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Miljömedicin och yrkesmedicin


TidskriftEnvironmental Health
StatusPublished - 2013
Peer review utfördJa


Ingen tillgänglig data