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Biol Trace Elem Res. 2014 Oct;161(1):13-9. doi: 10.1007/s12011-014-0082-9. Epub 2014 Jul 23.

Hair toxic element content in adult men and women in relation to body mass index.

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Russian Society of Trace Elements in Medicine, ANO "Centre for Biotic Medicine", Zemlyanoy Val St. 46, Moscow, Russia, 105064.


The primary objective of the current study was to estimate the hair toxic metal content in adults in relation to body mass index. A total of 1,229 persons including 719 women and 510 men were examined. All subjects were divided into two age groups: 1 and 2 periods of adulthood. All men and women were also subdivided into groups in relation to their values of body mass index (BMI): underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese. Hair aluminium (Al), beryllium (Be), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), lead (Pb) and tin (Sn) content was evaluated using mass spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma. It has been shown that increase in body weight is accompanied by elevated hair cadmium content in women. At the same time, no significant alteration of hair cadmium concentration was observed in males. Higher values of scalp hair mercury and lead content were observed in men and women with increased body mass index independently of their age. BMI-related elevation of hair tin content was registered only in men of the first period of adulthood. A significant correlation between hair metal content and the values of BMI was observed for mercury independently of the gender of the subjects, whereas BMI values correlated significantly with hair cadmium levels in women and lead and tin levels in men. It has been also estimated that hair cadmium, mercury and lead levels in men exceed the respective values in women.

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