Polychlorinated biphenyls, lead, and mercury are associated with liver disease in American adults: NHANES 2003-2004.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND:High-level occupational exposures to some industrial chemicals have been associated with liver diseases, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, the potential role of low-level environmental pollution on liver disease in the general population has not been evaluated. OBJECTIVE:We determined whether environmental pollutants are associated with an elevation in serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity and suspected NAFLD in U.S. adults. METHODS:This cross-sectional cohort study evaluated adult participants without viral hepatitis, hemochromatosis, or alcoholic liver disease from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for 2003-2004. ALT elevation was defined in men as ≥ 37 IU/L (age 18-20 years) and ≥ 48 IU/L (age ≥ 21 years) and in women as ≥ 30 IU/L (age 18-20 years) and ≥ 31 IU/L (age ≥ 21 years). Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for ALT elevation were determined across exposure quartiles for 17 pollutant subclasses comprising 111 individual pollutants present with at least a 60% detection rate. Adjustments were made for age, race/ethnicity, sex, body mass index, poverty income ratio, and insulin resistance. Individual pollutants from subclasses associated with ALT elevation were subsequently analyzed. RESULTS:The overall prevalence of ALT elevation was 10.6%. Heavy metals and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were associated with dose-dependent increased adjusted ORs for ALT elevation. Within these subclasses, increasing whole-blood levels of lead and mercury and increasing lipid-adjusted serum levels of 20 PCBs were individually associated with ALT elevation. CONCLUSIONS:PCB, lead, and mercury exposures were associated with unexplained ALT elevation, a proxy marker of NAFLD, in NHANES 2003-2004 adult participants.

authors

Cave M,Appana S,Patel M,Falkner KC,McClain CJ,Brock G

doi

10.1289/ehp.1002720

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2010-12-01 00:00:00

pages

1735-42

issue

12

eissn

0091-6765

issn

1552-9924

journal_volume

118

pub_type

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