Association of environmental cadmium exposure with pediatric dental caries.


Arora M, Weuve J, Schwartz J, Wright RO. Association of environmental cadmium exposure with pediatric dental caries. Environmental Health Perspectives 2008;116(6):821-825.


BACKGROUND: Although animal experiments have shown that cadmium exposure results in severe dental caries, limited epidemiologic data are available on this issue. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to examine the relationship between environmental cadmium exposure and dental caries in children 6-12 years of age. METHODS: We analyzed cross-sectional data, including urine cadmium concentrations and counts of decayed or filled tooth surfaces, from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We used logistic and zero-inflated negative binomial (ZINB) regression to estimate the association between urine cadmium concentrations and caries experience, adjusting these analyses for potential confounders including environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). RESULTS: Urine cadmium concentrations ranged from 0.01 to 3.38 ng/mL. Approximately 56% of children had experienced caries in their deciduous teeth, and almost 30% had been affected by caries in their permanent dentition. An interquartile range (IQR) increase in creatinine-corrected cadmium concentrations (0.21 microg/g creatinine) corresponded to a 16% increase in the odds of having experienced caries in deciduous teeth [prevalence odds ratio (OR)=1.16; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.96-1.40]. This association was statistically significant in children with low ETS exposure (prevalence OR = 1.30; 95% CI, 1.01-1.67). The results from the ZINB regression indicated that, among children with any caries history in their deciduous teeth, an IQR increase in cadmium was associated with 17% increase in the number of decayed or filled surfaces. We observed no association between cadmium and caries experience in permanent teeth. CONCLUSIONS: Environmental cadmium exposure may be associated with increased risk of dental caries in deciduous teeth of children