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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Mar;14(3):705-8.

Urinary cadmium and serum levels of estrogens and androgens in postmenopausal Japanese women.

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Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu, Japan.



Recent laboratory studies have suggested that cadmium is an estrogenic compound and may be a potential risk factor for breast cancer.


We investigated the relationship between urinary cadmium concentrations and serum concentrations of estrone, testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in 164 postmenopausal Japanese women.


There was a significant positive association between the urinary cadmium and serum testosterone levels after controlling for age and body mass index. The mean testosterone level was 28% higher in women with high urinary cadmium (> or = 3.00 microg/g creatinine) than in those with low urinary cadmium (< 2.00 microg/g creatinine). Urinary cadmium was not significantly associated with serum estrone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels. Additional adjustment for smoking, alcohol and reproductive factors including known risk factors for breast cancer did not substantially alter the results.


Data suggested that cadmium exposure is associated with increased testosterone levels. As high testosterone levels have been associated with the risk of breast cancer, the involvement of cadmium exposure in breast cancer risk should be evaluated in future studies.

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