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Cadmium Burden Linked to Mortality From Flu, Pneumonia

FRIDAY, Dec. 18, 2020 -- Cadmium burden is associated with increased mortality from influenza or pneumonia in U.S. adults, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Sung Kyun Park, Sc.D., M.P.H., from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined the association of cadmium burden and mortality linked to influenza or pneumonia. A prospective analysis was conducted of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), including 7,173 and 8,678 participants aged 45 years and older enrolled in NHANES III and NHANES 1999 to 2006, with median follow-up of 17.3 and 11.4 years, respectively.

The researchers found that after adjustment for sex, race/ethnicity, education, body mass index, serum cholesterol, hypertension, and NHANES phase, the hazard ratio comparing influenza or pneumonia mortality among participants with creatinine-corrected urinary cadmium in the 80th versus the 20th percentile was 1.15 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.05 to 1.26; P = 0.002) and 1.27 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.12 to 1.43; P = 0.002) in the whole population and among never smokers, respectively, in NHANES-III. In NHANES 1999 to 2006, the corresponding adjusted hazard ratios were 1.14 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.96 to 1.36; P = 0.15) and 1.71 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.95 to 3.09; P = 0.07), respectively.

"The associations we found need to be verified in other populations and also studied with respect to cadmium's potential impact on COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality," a coauthor said in a statement.

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Posted: December 2020

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