Arsenic exposure, arsenic metabolism, and incident diabetes in the strong heart study

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE Little is known about arsenic metabolism in diabetes development. We investigated the prospective associations of low-moderate arsenic exposure and arsenic metabolism with diabetes incidence in the Strong Heart Study. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS A total of 1,694 diabetes-free participants aged 45-75 years were recruited in 1989-1991 and followed through 1998-1999. We used the proportions of urine inorganic arsenic (iAs), monomethylarsonate (MMA), and dimethylarsinate (DMA) over their sum (expressed as iAs%, MMA%, and DMA%) as the biomarkers of arsenic metabolism. Diabetes was defined as fasting glucose ≥126 mg/dL, 2-h glucose ≥200 mg/dL, self-reported diabetes history, or self-reported use of antidiabetic medications. RESULTS Over 11,263.2 person-years of follow-up, 396 participants developed diabetes. Using the leave-one-out approach to model the dynamics of arsenic metabolism, we found that lower MMA% was associated with higher diabetes incidence. The hazard ratios (95% CI) of diabetes incidence for a 5% increase inMMA% were 0.77 (0.63-0.93) and 0.82 (0.73-0.92) when iAs% and DMA%, respectively,were left out of the model. DMA% was associated with higher diabetes incidence only when MMA% decreased (left out of the model) but not when iAs% decreased. iAs% was also associated with higher diabetes incidence when MMA% decreased. The association between MMA% and diabetes incidence was similar by age, sex, study site, obesity, and urine iAs concentrations. CONCLUSIONS Arsenicmetabolism, particularly lowerMMA%,was prospectively associated with increased incidence of diabetes. Research is needed to evaluate whether arsenic metabolism is related to diabetes incidence per se or through its close connections with one-carbon metabolism.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Diabetes Care  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kuo CC; Howard BV; Umans JG; Gribble MO; Best LG; Francesconi KA; Goessler W; Lee E; Guallar E; Navas-Acien A
  • Start Page

  • 620
  • End Page

  • 627
  • Volume

  • 38
  • Issue

  • 4