Christopher de la Bastide, Lissa Soares, Li-Yung Lui, James Harrington, Peggy Cawthon, Eric Orwoll, Deborah Kado, Jaymie Meliker

A protocol for the prospective study of urinary cadmium with risk of fracture, bone loss, and muscle loss

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Abstract Cadmium (Cd) is a heavy metal and natural element found in soil and crops with increasing concentrations linked to phosphate fertilizers and sewage sludge applied to crop lands. A large fraction of older U.S men and woman have documented Cd exposure. Cd exposure has proven health concerns such as risk of lung cancer from inhalation and impaired renal function, however, growing evidence suggests it also influences bone and muscle health. Given that low levels of Cd could affect bone and muscle, we have designed prospective studies using the two largest and most detailed U.S. studies of bone health in older men and women: The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study and the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF). We are investigating the association of urinary cadmium (U-Cd), as a surrogate for long term cadmium exposure, with bone and muscle health. Building off suggestive evidence from mechanistic and cross-sectional studies, this will be the first well-powered prospective study of incident fracture outcomes, bone loss, and muscle loss in relation to U-Cd, an established biomarker of long-term Cd exposure. The following is a proposed protocol for the intended study; if successful the proposed studies could be influential in directing future U.S policy to decrease Cd exposure in the U.S population similar to recent policies adopted by the European Union to limit Cd in fertilizers.

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