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Cited 11 time in webofscience Cited 14 time in scopus
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Relationship between heavy metal exposure and type 2 diabetes: a large-scale retrospective cohort study using occupational health examinationsopen access

Authors
Ji, Jun HoJin, Mi HyeonKang, Jung-HunLee, Soon IlLee, SueeKim, Sung-HyunOh, Sung Yong
Issue Date
2021
Publisher
BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP
Keywords
diabetes & amp; endocrinology; social medicine; epidemiology
Citation
BMJ OPEN, v.11, no.3
Indexed
SCIE
SCOPUS
Journal Title
BMJ OPEN
Volume
11
Number
3
URI
https://scholarworks.bwise.kr/gnu/handle/sw.gnu/5755
DOI
10.1136/bmjopen-2020-039541
ISSN
2044-6055
Abstract
Objectives To investigate the associations between heavy metal exposure and serum ferritin levels, physical measurements and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). Design A retrospective cohort study. Setting Changwon, the location of this study, is a Korean representative industrial city. Data were obtained from medical check-ups between 2002 and 2018. Participants A total of 34 814 male subjects were included. Of them, 1035 subjects with lead exposure, 200 subjects with cadmium exposure and the 33 579 remaining were assigned to cohort A, cohort B and the control cohort, respectively. Data including personal history of alcohol and smoking, age, height, weight, the follow-up duration, haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), fasting blood sugar (FBS), ferritin levels, and lead and cadmium levels within 1 year after exposure were collected. Primary outcome measure In subjects without diabetes, changes in FBS and HbA1c were analysed through repeated tests at intervals of 1 year or longer after the occupational exposure to heavy metals. Results In Cohort A, DM was diagnosed in 33 subjects. There was a significant difference in lead concentrations between the subjects diagnosed with DM and those without DM during the follow-up period (3.94 +/- 2.92 mg/dL vs 2.81 +/- 2.03 mg/dL, p=0.002). Simple exposure to heavy metals (lead and cadmium) was not associated with DM in Cox regression models (lead exposure (HR) 1.01, 95% CI: 0.58 to 1.77, p 0.971; cadmium exposure HR 1.48, 95% CI: 0.61 to 3.55, p=0.385). Annual changes in FBS according to lead concentration at the beginning of exposure showed a positive correlation (r=0.072, p=0.032). Conclusion Our findings demonstrated that simple occupational exposure to heavy metals lead and cadmium was not associated with the incidence of DM. However, lead concentrations at the beginning of the exposure might be an indicator of DM and glucose elevations.
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