Prevalence of Endometriosis Increased With Cadmium Exposure

Twofold increase seen in prevalence of endometriosis for cadmium concentration in second and third versus first quartile

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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

MONDAY, July 31, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Cadmium exposure is associated with increased prevalence of endometriosis, according to a study published online July 24 in Human Reproduction.

Mandy S. Hall, from the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University in East Lansing, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study using data from four cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 1999 to 2006 to examine the association between exposure to cadmium and endometriosis. Data were included for 1,647 participants aged 20 to 54 years with available data on urinary cadmium and endometriosis diagnosis and a glomerular filtration rate ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2. Urinary cadmium was measured by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry.

The researchers found that the prevalence of endometriosis was increased twofold for those with cadmium concentrations in the second and third versus the first quartile (adjusted prevalence ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 2.0 [1.1 to 3.9] and 2.0 [1.1 to 3.7], respectively). Prevalence was increased in the fourth versus the first quartile, although the finding was not statistically significant (adjusted prevalence ratio, 1.60; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.8 to 3.2). Stronger associations accompanied by wider confidence intervals were seen in a sensitivity analysis restricting the study population to 1,298 premenopausal participants with an intact uterus and at least one ovary.

"Long-term exposure to cadmium is associated with an increased prevalence of endometriosis," the authors write. "Given the substantial morbidity conferred by endometriosis and that the general population is ubiquitously exposed to cadmium, further research is warranted to confirm our findings."

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