Purpose: Epidemiologic data suggest an association between cadmium exposure and cardiovascular disease though the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study explored the hypothesis that cadmium exposure is associated with elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) and fibrinogen, two risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease.
Methods: The current study investigated associations between urinary cadmium and the prevalence of elevated blood CRP (> or = 2.2 mg/L) and fibrinogen (> or = 10.35 micromol/L) using data from a sample of 6497 participants aged 40-79 in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Logistic regression model was used to investigate existing associations while adjusting for confounding variables.
Results: Both simple and covariate-adjusted models indicated that urinary cadmium was associated with elevated CRP and fibrinogen in a dose-dependent fashion (p(trend)<0.05 for both). Adjusted odds ratios for increased CRP and fibrinogen comparing highest with lowest quartiles of urinary cadmium were 1.62 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.24-2.12) and 2.12 (1.43-3.14), respectively.
Conclusions: This analysis shows that cadmium exposure is associated with high prevalence of elevated CRP and fibrinogen. Additional study will be required to determine whether the increased risk derives from cadmium per se or from the environmental circumstances responsible for acquiring the contamination, e.g., cigarette smoking.