Arsenic exposure and adverse health effects: a review of recent findings from arsenic and health studies in Matlab, Bangladesh

Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 2011 Sep;27(9):371-6. doi: 10.1016/j.kjms.2011.05.012. Epub 2011 Jul 6.


The recent discovery of large-scale arsenic (As) contamination of groundwater has raised much concern in Bangladesh. Reliable estimates of the magnitude of As exposure and related health problems have not been comprehensively investigated in Bangladesh. A large population-based study on As and health consequences in Matlab (AsMat) was done in Matlab field site where International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh has maintained a health and demographic surveillance system registering prospectively all vital events. Taking advantage of the health and demographic surveillance system and collecting data on detailed individual level As exposure using water and urine samples, AsMat investigated the morbidity and mortality associated with As exposure. Reviews of findings to date suggest the adverse effects of As exposure on the risk of skin lesions, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, chronic disease, and all-cause infant and adult disease mortality. Future studies of clinical endpoints will enhance our knowledge gaps and will give directions for disease prevention and mitigations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arsenic / toxicity*
  • Bangladesh
  • Groundwater / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Public Health
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity


  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Arsenic