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Environ Health Perspect. 2013 Sep;121(9):1047-53. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1306607. Epub 2013 Jun 7.

Associations of urinary cadmium with age and urinary proteins: further evidence of physiological variations unrelated to metal accumulation and toxicity.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Catholic University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The current risk assessment for environmental cadmium (Cd) largely relies on the assumption that urinary Cd (U-Cd) is a reliable biomarker of the Cd body burden. Recent studies have questioned the validity of this assumption.

OBJECTIVES:

We studied the lifetime trend of U-Cd as a function of diuresis, gender, smoking status, and protein tubular reabsorption. We also analyzed the associations between U-Cd and urinary proteins.

METHODS:

Cd, retinol-binding protein, and albumin were measured in the urine of six cohorts of the general population of Belgium, with a mean age ranging from 5.7 to 88.1 years (n = 1,567). Variations of U-Cd with age were modeled using natural cubic splines.

RESULTS:

In both genders, U-Cd decreased to a minimum (~ 0.20 μg/L) at the end of adolescence, then increased until 60-70 years of age (~ 0.60 μg/L in never-smokers) before leveling off or decreasing. When U-Cd was expressed in micrograms per gram of creatinine, these variations were amplified (minimum, 0.15 µg/g creatinine; maximum, 0.70 µg/g creatinine) and much higher U-Cd values were observed in women. We observed no difference in U-Cd levels between never-smokers and former smokers, and the difference with current smokers did not increase over time. Lifetime curves of U-Cd were higher with increasing urinary retinol-binding protein or albumin, a consequence of the coexcretion of Cd with proteins.

CONCLUSIONS:

At low Cd exposure levels, U-Cd and age are associated through nonlinear and nonmonotonic relationships that appear to be driven mainly by recent Cd intake and physiological variations in the excretion of creatinine and proteins.

PMID:
23774576
PMCID:
PMC3764089
DOI:
10.1289/ehp.1306607
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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