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Cadmium and Aging

Cadmium May Accelerate Cellular Aging

Associated with cardiovascular disease, respiratory disorders, and cancers, cadmium exposure typically occurs via the inhalation of tobacco smoke, eating fruits and vegetables grown in contaminated soil, or living near an industrial site.  Ami Zota, from George Washington University (Washington DC, USA), and colleagues analyzed blood and urine samples taken from more than 6,700 adults enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999 to 2002. The researchers obtained purified DNA from blood cells and then used a genetic technique to measure the telomeres, the ends of chromosomes that are associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other diseases of old age.  Then the researchers measured the concentration of cadmium in the blood and urine samples. They divided the participants up into fourths based on the concentrations of cadmium found in their bloodstream, finding that people in the highest group had telomeres that were about six percent shorter than those in the lowest group. "People with the highest cadmium exposure had cells that looked on average 11 years older than their chronological age," observed the lead investigator. The study authors conclude that:  “These findings provide further evidence of physiological impacts of cadmium at environmental levels and might provide insight into biological pathways underlying cadmium toxicity and chronic disease risks.”

Πηγή: Zota AR, Needham BL, Blackburn EH, Lin J, Park SK, Rehkopf DH, Epel ES.  “Associations of cadmium and lead exposure with leukocyte telomere length: findings from national health and nutrition examination survey, 1999-2002.”  Am J Epidemiol. 2015 Jan 15;181(2):127-36.

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