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Mendez, Michelle A.; Gonzalez-Horta, Carmen; Sanchez-Ramirez, Blanca; Ballinas-Casarrubias, Lourdes; Ceron, Roberto Hernandez; Morales, Damian Viniegra; Terrazas, Francisco A. Baeza; Ishida, Maria C.; Gutierrez-Torres, Daniela S.; & Saunders, R. Jesse, et al. (2016). Chronic Exposure to Arsenic and Markers of Cardiometabolic Risk: A Cross-Sectional Study in Chihuahua, Mexico. Environmental Health Perspectives, 124(1), 104-111. PMCID: PMC4710594


Background: Exposure to arsenic (As) concentrations in drinking water >150µg/L has been associated with risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but less is known about effects of lower exposures. Few studies have examined whether moderate As exposure, or indicators of individual As metabolism at these levels of exposure, are associated with cardiometabolic risk.
Methods: We analysed cross-sectional associations between arsenic exposure and multiple markers of cardiometabolic risk using data from 1160 adults in Chihuahua, Mexico recruited in 2008-2013 with measures of drinking water As and urinary As species. Lipid and glucose levels in fasting blood, an oral glucose tolerance test, and blood pressure were used to characterize cardiometabolic risk. Multivariable logistic, multinomial and linear regression was used to assess associations between cardiometabolic outcomes and water As or the sum of inorganic and methylated As species in urine.
Results: After multivariable adjustment, concentrations in the second quartile of water As (25.5-<47.9µg/L) and the < median concentration of total speciated urinary As (<55.8µg/L) were significantly associated with elevated triglycerides, high total cholesterol, and diabetes. However, moderate water and urinary As levels were also positively associated with HDL cholesterol. Associations between arsenic exposure and both dysglycemia and triglyceridemia were higher among individuals with higher proportions of dimethyl-As in urine.
Conclusions: Moderate exposure to As may increase cardiometabolic risk, particularly in individuals with high proportions of urinary dimethyl-As. In this cohort, As exposure was associated with several markers of increased cardiometabolic risk (diabetes, triglyceridemia and cholesterolemia), but exposure was also associated with higher rather than lower HDL cholesterol.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Environmental Health Perspectives


Mendez, Michelle A.
Gonzalez-Horta, Carmen
Sanchez-Ramirez, Blanca
Ballinas-Casarrubias, Lourdes
Ceron, Roberto Hernandez
Morales, Damian Viniegra
Terrazas, Francisco A. Baeza
Ishida, Maria C.
Gutierrez-Torres, Daniela S.
Saunders, R. Jesse
Drobna, Zuzana
Fry, Rebecca C.
Buse, John B.
Loomis, Dana P.
Garcia-Vargas, Gonzalo G.
Del Razo, Luz M.
Styblo, Miroslav