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Master's Culminating Experience

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Background: Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal and environmental pollutant; general population exposure is through occupation, diet, and smoking. Cadmium is associated with lower bone mineral density (BMD) and higher risk of fractures in women. This association is not fully known in men.

Objective: Given the toxicity and global dispersion of cadmium, we explored its association with BMD in U.S. men and women.

Methods: Data from 914 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2013-2014 was utilized. Multivariable regression analysis was used to determine the independent association between cadmium exposure and BMD controlling for age, body mass index, smoking status, income, and menopausal status × gender. The Šidák method was used to adjust p-values for multiple comparisons between levels of each categorical variable.

Results: In adjusted analysis a small, negative association between cadmium exposure and BMD was observed. This association was not significant overall (p = 0.908) nor in males (p = 0.618) or females (p = 0.942). Overall, age (p < .001), body mass index (p < .001), income (p = .001), race (p < .001) and menopausal status × gender (p < .001) were significantly associated with bone mineral density. Unplanned analysis controlling for creatinine did not yield a significant association between cadmium and BMD.

Conclusion: In the U.S. population, cadmium is not significantly associated with BMD. As mean urinary Cadmium level has been declining in U.S. population over 1999-2014; the decreasing levels of environmental cadmium exposure may have a role in non-significant association with BMD.

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Cd_BMD_CE_Taggart.pdf (1068 kB)

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