Introduction Animal studies have been shown a positive association between high dose cadmium exposure and blood pressure. However, effect of low-level cadmium exposure that typically found in the general population is reported in a few studies. Thus, the objective of this study was to examine the relationship between blood cadmium levels and blood pressure in a non-occupationally exposed population.
Methods The subjects consisted of 500 women and 126 men (age range 40–60) in which blood pressure and blood cadmium were measured. Blood cadmium was determined by GFAAS.
Results The geometric mean of blood cadmium was 0.91 μg/l. The prevalence of hypertension was 13.9%. Among all participants, positive relationships were seen between both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and blood cadmium levels (p<0.05). Analysis in subgroup found that cadmium levels increased with cigarette smoking rate among current smokers (p=0.04). The results of stepwise multiple regression showed that systolic and diastolic blood pressure were significantly correlated with age, body mass index, smoking cigarette and blood cadmium level.
Conclusion The present data provide some support for a causal association between cadmium exposure and increased blood pressure. However, genetic susceptibility and duration of exposure could also be important determinants of these responses to cadmium exposure.