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Arsenic exposure and age- and sex-specific risk for skin lesions: A population-based case-referent study in Bangladesh
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2006 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, ISSN 0091-6765, E-ISSN 1552-9924, Vol. 114, no 12, 1847-1852 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The objective of this population-based case-referent study in Matlab, Bangladesh, was to assess the susceptibility to arsenic-induced skin lesions by age and sex, in a population drinking water from As-contaminated tube wells. Methods: Identification of As-related skin lesions was carried out in three steps: a) screening of the entire population > 4 years of age (n = 166,934) by trained field teams; b) diagnosis of suspected As-related cases by physicians; and c) confirmation by experts based on physicians' records and photographs, A total of 504 cases with skin lesions were confirmed. We randomly selected 2,201 referents from the Matlab health and demographic surveillance system; 1,955 were eligible, and 1,830 (94%) were available for participation in the study. Individual history of As exposure was based on information obtained during interviews and included all drinking-water sources used since 1970 and concentrations of As (assessed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry) in all the tube wells used. Results: Cases had been exposed to As more than referents (average exposure since 1970: male cases, 200 μg/L; female cases, 211 μg/L; male referents, 143 μg/L; female referents, 155 μg/L). We found a dose-response relationship for both sexes (p < 0.001) and increased risk with increasing socioeconomic status. Males had a higher risk of obtaining skin lesions than females (odds ratio 10.9 vs. 5.78) in the highest average exposure quintile (p = 0.005). Start of As exposure (cumulative exposure) before 1 year of age was not associated with higher risk of obtaining skin lesions compared to start of As exposure later in life. Conclusions: The results demonstrate that males are more susceptible than females to develop skin lesions when exposed to As in water from tube wells.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 114, no 12, 1847-1852 p.
Keyword [en]
Arsenic skin lesions, Bangladesh, Case-referent study, Dose response, Drinking water, Exposure, Sex
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-20067DOI: 10.1289/ehp.9207ISI: 000242500200030PubMedID: 17185274OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-20067DiVA: diva2:47839
Available from: 2006-12-05 Created: 2006-12-05 Last updated: 2011-05-05Bibliographically approved

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Ekström, Eva-CharlottePersson, Lars-Åke
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