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Open Access Research article

The association of urinary cadmium with sex steroid hormone concentrations in a general population sample of US adult men

Andy Menke1, Eliseo Guallar12*, Meredith S Shiels1, Sabine Rohrmann3, Shehzad Basaria4, Nader Rifai5, William G Nelson101146789 and Elizabeth A Platz11011

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA

2 Department of Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Population Genetics, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC), Madrid, Spain

3 Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany

4 Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA

5 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, USA

6 Department of Oncology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA

7 Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA

8 Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA

9 Department of Urology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA

10 The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, USA

11 The James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, USA

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BMC Public Health 2008, 8:72  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-72

Published: 23 February 2008

Abstract

Background

Studies investigating the association of cadmium and sex steroid hormones in men have been inconsistent, but previous studies were relatively small.

Methods

In a nationally representative sample of 1,262 men participating in the morning examination session of phase I (1998–1991) of the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, creatinine corrected urinary cadmium and serum concentrations of sex steroid hormones were measured following a standardized protocol.

Results

After adjustment for age and race-ethnicity, higher cadmium levels were associated with higher levels of total testosterone, total estradiol, sex hormone-binding globulin, estimated free testosterone, and estimated free estradiol (each p-trend < 0.05). After additionally adjusting for smoking status and serum cotinine, none of the hormones maintained an association with urinary cadmium (each p-trend > 0.05).

Conclusion

Urinary cadmium levels were not associated with sex steroid hormone concentrations in a large nationally representative sample of US men.