Background: It is unclear whether environmental cadmium exposure is associated with cardiovascular disease, although recent data suggest associations with myocardial infarction and peripheral arterial disease.
Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the association of measured cadmium exposure with stroke and heart failure (HF) in the general population.
Methods: We analyzed data from 12,049 participants, aged 30 years and older, in the 1999-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for whom information was available on body mass index, smoking status, alcohol consumption, and socio-demographic characteristics.
Results: At their interviews, 492 persons reported a history of stroke, and 471 a history of HF. After adjusting for demographic and cardiovascular risk factors, a 50% increase in blood cadmium corresponded to a 35% increased odds of prevalent stroke [OR: 1.35; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.12-1.65] and a 50% increase in urinary cadmium corresponded to a 9% increase in prevalent stroke [OR: 1.09; 95% CI: 1.00-1.19]. This association was higher among women [OR: 1.38; 95% CI: 1.11-1.72] than men [OR: 1.30; 95% CI: 0.93-1.79] (p-value for interaction=0.05). A 50% increase in blood cadmium corresponded to a 48% increased odds of prevalent HF [OR: 1.48; 95% CI: 1.17-1.87] and a 50% increase in urinary cadmium corresponded to a 12% increase in prevalent HF [OR: 1.12; 95% CI: 1.03-1.20], with no difference in sex-specific associations.
Conclusions: Environmental exposure to cadmium was associated with significantly increased stroke and heart failure prevalence. Cadmium exposure may increase these important manifestations of cardiovascular disease.
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