Background: Most humans are exposed to environmental contaminants via inhalation. Various toxic inhalants cause lung damage with pathologic changes to the airway system. Lung function decline is an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.Aim: To consider the potential burden of cadmium on pulmonary disease, this study examined the relationship between blood cadmium levels and airflow obstruction in a Korean general population.Subjects and methods: Data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2008-2011 were used. Male participants were selected who were older than 40 years, who had completed a reliable pulmonary function test and for who measurements of blood cadmium levels were available (n = 1974). The pulmonary function tests were undertaken and airflow obstruction was defined when forced vital capacity/forced expiratory volume in 1 second ratio < 0.7.Results: In an age-adjusted logistic regression model, blood cadmium levels correlated with the risk of obstructive airflow pattern in total participants as well as in smokers or never smokers. Further adjustment for BMI, current occupation and educational level did not attenuate these associations among total participants, smokers and never smokers (OR = 2.53, 95% CI = 1.83-3.50 in total; OR = 2.17, 95% CI = 1.55-3.02 in smokers; OR = 3.71, 95% CI = 1.48-9.33 in never smokers).Conclusions: In conclusion, blood cadmium level was associated with airflow obstruction independently of smoking history and that association was still significant in never smokers. Careful attention is needed for the general population who are potentially exposed to cadmium.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health