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Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2013 Jan;216(1):35-49. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2012.07.001. Epub 2012 Aug 21.

Delineating the degree of association between biomarkers of arsenic exposure and type-2 diabetes mellitus.

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Cyprus International Institute for Environmental and Public Health in association with Harvard School of Public Health, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus.


Non-carcinogenic effects in low-level (< 100 μgL(-1)) arsenic (As)-impacted populations, such as the development and progression of type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), are often neglected given the primary emphasis of public health authorities on As carcinogenicity. We gathered studies reporting urinary biomarkers of As exposure (U-As) and biomarkers associated with T2DM and its complications (U-T2DM), such as renal damage, oxidation stress, low-grade inflammation, and endothelial damage. Studied U-T2DM biomarkers were: 8-hydroxy-2'deoxyguanosine, N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase, β2-microglobulin, and albumin. Data was expressed as: either arithmetic means and standard deviations, or geometric means and geometric standard deviations, or correlation coefficients of U-As and U-T2DM. Urinary As concentrations were consistently associated with the aforementioned biomarkers of T2DM pathologic complications. Despite the limited selectivity of the selected T2DM biomarkers, a per unit change in As exposure level was reflected in the corresponding T2DM biomarker urinary concentrations. Our systematic review provides new evidence on the role of environmental As exposures influencing the T2DM disease process. Additional epidemiologic studies onto the association between As and T2DM should incorporate both urinary As and T2DM biomarkers, as suggested in this study, in order to evaluate subclinical effects of low-level As exposures.

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