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Environ Health Perspect. 2008 Jun;116(6):821-5. doi: 10.1289/ehp.10947.

Association of environmental cadmium exposure with pediatric dental caries.

Author information

  • 1Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA. marora@hsph.harvard.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although animal experiments have shown that cadmium exposure results in severe dental caries, limited epidemiologic data are available on this issue.

OBJECTIVES:

We aimed to examine the relationship between environmental cadmium exposure and dental caries in children 6-12 years of age.

METHODS:

We analyzed cross-sectional data, including urine cadmium concentrations and counts of decayed or filled tooth surfaces, from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We used logistic and zero-inflated negative binomial (ZINB) regression to estimate the association between urine cadmium concentrations and caries experience, adjusting these analyses for potential confounders including environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).

RESULTS:

Urine cadmium concentrations ranged from 0.01 to 3.38 ng/mL. Approximately 56% of children had experienced caries in their deciduous teeth, and almost 30% had been affected by caries in their permanent dentition. An interquartile range (IQR) increase in creatinine-corrected cadmium concentrations (0.21 microg/g creatinine) corresponded to a 16% increase in the odds of having experienced caries in deciduous teeth [prevalence odds ratio (OR)=1.16; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.96-1.40]. This association was statistically significant in children with low ETS exposure (prevalence OR=1.30; 95% CI, 1.01-1.67). The results from the ZINB regression indicated that, among children with any caries history in their deciduous teeth, an IQR increase in cadmium was associated with 17% increase in the number of decayed or filled surfaces. We observed no association between cadmium and caries experience in permanent teeth.

CONCLUSIONS:

Environmental cadmium exposure may be associated with increased risk of dental caries in deciduous teeth of children.

KEYWORDS:

NHANES III, children, dental caries, environmental tobacco smoke, urine cadmium

PMID:
18560540
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2430240
Free PMC Article
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