The association of urinary cadmium with sex steroid hormone concentrations in a general population sample of US adult men
The objective of this study was to investigate the possible effects of environmental cadmium (Cd) exposure on the levels of serum sex hormones in a Chinese population group. A total of 263 male volunteers were included. Blood samples were collected for the determination of serum testosterone (T), measured by radioimmunoassay, and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), both measured by enzyme immunoassays. Urinary and blood Cd were analyzed by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). We found a dose-response relationship between urinary Cd excretion and the prevalence of abnormally high serum T levels, but, through multiple regression analysis, we could not trace exposure to Cd as a significant determinant of serum T levels. Exposure to Cd also failed to influence the levels of FSH and LH in serum. In contrast, we found that age, body mass index (BMI), and smoking habits are significant determinants of FSH and LH and of T and LH, respectively. We conclude that oral Cd exposure is not a critical determinant of hormone homeostasis in males, but lifestyle and some biological factors, such as age and BMI, are important. The relationship found between urinary Cd and high T levels may be of importance for male reproductive morbidity and should be investigated further.