Cadmium-induced renal dysfunction and mortality in two cohorts: disappearance of the association in a generation born later

Toxicol Lett. 2007 Mar 30;169(3):214-21. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2007.01.009. Epub 2007 Feb 2.


The association between exposure to environmental cadmium and mortality was investigated in two cohorts. The study population consisted of 275 (cohort I) and 329 (cohort II) residents (aged >or=40 years) in a cadmium-polluted area, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, who had participated in health surveys conducted in 1982 and 1992, respectively. The follow-up period extended from 1982 or 1992 to 2005. In the study area, the dietary cadmium intake had decreased after 1980-1983 because of the restoration of cadmium-polluted paddy fields. In cohort I, the mortality rate among those with urinary beta2-microglobulin (beta2-MG) concentration >or=1000 microg/g creatinine (cr.) was 1.41 times higher than the regional reference rate (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.07-1.83). After adjusting for age and other variables, in men, urinary N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase, and in women, serum creatinine, beta2-MG clearance, and urinary beta2-MG were significantly associated with increased mortality. However, in cohort II, urinary beta2-MG or total protein was not significantly associated with survival. These findings indicate that cadmium-induced renal dysfunction was a significant predictor of mortality, but that such an association is disappearing, probably because of the selective loss of advanced cases and reduced exposure and body burden.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cadmium / toxicity*
  • Cadmium / urine
  • Cohort Studies
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Environmental Pollutants / urine
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Female
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Kidney Diseases / blood
  • Kidney Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Kidney Diseases / mortality*
  • Kidney Diseases / urine
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Time Factors


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Cadmium