Arsenic exposure and anemia in Bangladesh: a population-based study

J Occup Environ Med. 2008 Jan;50(1):80-7. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31815ae9d4.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the association between arsenic exposure and anemia, based on blood hemoglobin concentration.

Methods: Hemoglobin measures, skin lesions, arsenic exposure, and nutritional and demographic information were collected from 1954 Bangladeshi participants in the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study. We used general linear modeling to assess the association between arsenic exposure and hemoglobin concentration, examining men and women separately.

Results: Arsenic exposure (urinary arsenic >200 microg/L) was negatively associated with hemoglobin among all men and among women with hemoglobin <10 d/L. Other predictors of anemia in men and women included older age, lower body mass index, and low intake of iron. Among women, the use of contraceptives predicted higher hemoglobin.

Conclusions: The study suggests an association between high arsenic exposure and anemia in Bangladesh.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia / chemically induced*
  • Anemia / epidemiology
  • Arsenic / adverse effects*
  • Arsenic / urine
  • Bangladesh / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Skin Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Skin Diseases / epidemiology
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / adverse effects*


  • Hemoglobins
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Arsenic