Strong positive association of traditional Asian-style diets with blood cadmium and lead levels in the Korean adult population

Sunmin Park, Byung Kook Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Blood lead and cadmium levels are more than twofold to fivefold higher in the Korean population compared to that of the USA. This may be related to the foods consumed. We examined which food categories are related to blood lead and cadmium levels in the Korean adult population using the 2008-2010 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (n = 5504). High and moderate consumption of bread and crackers, potatoes, meat and meat products, milk and dairy products, and pizza and hamburger resulted in significantly lower odds ratios for blood lead levels than their low consumption. However, consumption of salted fish, white fish, green vegetables, white and yellow vegetables, coffee, and alcohol resulted in significantly higher odds ratios of blood lead and cadmium. In conclusion, the typical Asian diet based on rice, fish, vegetables, regular coffee, and alcoholic drinks may be associated with higher blood cadmium and lead levels. This study suggests that lead and cadmium contents should be monitored and controlled in agricultural products to reduce health risks from heavy metals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-543
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Health Research
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

Keywords

  • alcohol
  • cadmium
  • coffee
  • food frequency
  • lead
  • rice
  • shellfish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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