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Ann Occup Environ Med. 2015 Aug 24;27:20. doi: 10.1186/s40557-015-0071-2. eCollection 2015.

Association of cadmium with diabetes in middle-aged residents of abandoned metal mines: the first health effect surveillance for residents in abandoned metal mines.

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Department of 1Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Medical Center of Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Department of Environmental Health, Korea National Open University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Environmental Health Research Department, Environmental Health Research Division, Incheon, Republic of Korea.
Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Dong-A University, Busan, Republic of Korea.
Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Korean Industrial Health Association, Hyesan Bldg., Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, College of Medicine, Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital, Hwasun, Republic of Korea.
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Daegu, Republic of Korea.



The aim of this study was to determine the association between urinary cadmium (U-cd) concentration and diabetes in middle-aged Korean residents of abandoned mines using the first Health Effect Surveillance for Residents in Abandoned Metal mines (HESRAM).


This study was cross-sectional study conducted on 719 residents between 40-70 years in 38 abandoned metal mines in Korea. Data was collected by HESRAM from 2008 to 2011. The correlation coefficient of U-cd and fasting blood glucose, odds ratio in urinary cadmium tertiles and diabetes prevalence was analyzed according to the sex category.


The correlation coefficient U-cd concentration and fasting blood glucose was 0.182 in male. Logistic regression analysis in male revealed a third tertile odds ratio of U-cd (2 μg/g creatinine < U-cd) while diabetes prevalence was 1.81 (95 % CI 1.05-3.12) with adjusted age, BMI, smoking and alcohol consumption, region, family income. On the other hand, the odds ratio for third tertile of U-cd (3 μg/g creatinine < U-cd) between diabetes prevalence in female was 1.39 (95 % CI 0.52-3.72) in addition to adjusted menopausal status.


Environmental exposure to cadmium in abandoned mine residents was associated with diabetes in male. Closed monitoring and periodic evaluation of the health effects of chronic environmental exposure on abandoned mines residents will be needed.


Abandoned mine; Diabetes; Environmental disorder; Glucose; Urine cadmium

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