Background: Arsenic-related cardiovascular effects at exposure levels below the US Environmental Protection Agency's standard of 10 μg/L are unclear. For these populations, food, especially rice, is a major source of exposure. We investigated associations of rice intake, a marker of arsenic exposure, with subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) markers in a multiethnic population. Methods and Results: Between 2000 and 2002, MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) enrolled 6814 adults without clinical CVD. We included 5050 participants with baseline data on rice intake and markers of 3 CVD domains: inflammation (hsCRP [high-sensitivity C-reactive protein], interleukin-6, and fibrinogen), vascular function (aortic distensibility, carotid distensibility, and brachial flow-mediated dilation), and subclinical atherosclerosis at 3 vascular sites (carotid intima-media thickness, coronary artery calcification, and ankle-brachial index). We also evaluated endothelial-related biomarkers previously associated with arsenic. Rice intake was assessed by food frequency questionnaire. Urinary arsenic was measured in 310 participants. A total of 13% of participants consumed ≥1 serving of rice/day. Compared with individuals consuming <1 serving of rice/week, ≥1 serving of rice/day was not associated with subclinical markers after demographic, lifestyle, and CVD risk factor adjustment (eg, geometric mean ratio [95% CI] for hsCRP, 0.98 [0.86–1.11]; aortic distensibility, 0.99 [0.91–1.07]; and carotid intima-media thickness, 0.98 [0.91–1.06]). Associations with urinary arsenic were similar to those for rice intake. Conclusions: Rice intake was not associated with subclinical CVD markers in a multiethnic US population. Research using urinary arsenic is needed to assess potential CVD effects of low-level arsenic exposure. Understanding the role of low-level arsenic as it relates to subclinical CVD may contribute to CVD prevention and control.
- cardiovascular disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine