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Evaluation of Biochemical Changes in Chronic Arsenic Poisoning among Bangladeshi Patients
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
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Received: 13 September 2005; Accepted: 25 October 2005 / Published: 30 December 2005
Abstract: An estimated 40 million people in Bangladesh have been suffering from arsenic toxicity-related diseases because of drinking water contamination with high levels of naturally occurring arsenic. To evaluate the biochemical changes in chronic arsenic exposure, a total of 115 exposed subjects diagnosed as arsenicosis patients were examined and interviewed, and 120 unexposed volunteers were enrolled in this study. Drinking water, urine and peripheral blood samples were collected from all participants and analyzed. The average levels of arsenic in the drinking water and spot urine samples of the arsenicosis patients were 218.18g/L and 234.68g/L, respectively, and duration of exposure was 7.6 ± 5.2 yrs that ranged from 1-25 yrs. Prevalence of diabetes mellitus among chronic arsenic-exposed subjects was about 2.8 times higher than the unexposed subjects. The activities of alkaline phosphatase were significantly elevated in the patients, 197 U/L compared to 149 U/L in the controls, but alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase were mostly normal. The patients had significantly lower levels of serum creatinine, 0.97 mg/dL compared to 1.15 mg/dL in the controls; but had significantly elevated levels of total protein, 84 g/L and 77 g/L respectively. The mean level of inorganic phosphate in the serum of arsenicosis patients was 6.4 mg/dL compared to 4.6 mg/dL in the unexposed subjects and the level was significantly higher, indicating substitution of the pentavalent arsenate for the phosphate ion causing underutilization of the latter. Evaluation of the lipid profiles showed while the levels of triacylglycerol were not much different, the patients had significantly lower levels of cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol compared to the unexposed subjects. These findings suggest significant changes in biochemical parameters in human arsenic toxicity.
Keywords: Drinking water arsenic; biochemical parameters; alkaline phosphatase; lipid profile; diabetogenic effect; total protein; inorganic phosphate; Bangladeshi patients
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Nurun Nabi, A.H.M.; Rahman, M.M.; Islam, L.N. Evaluation of Biochemical Changes in Chronic Arsenic Poisoning among Bangladeshi Patients. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2005, 2, 385-393.
Nurun Nabi AHM, Rahman MM, Islam LN. Evaluation of Biochemical Changes in Chronic Arsenic Poisoning among Bangladeshi Patients. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2005; 2(3):385-393.
Nurun Nabi, A. H.M.; Rahman, M. M.; Islam, Laila N. 2005. "Evaluation of Biochemical Changes in Chronic Arsenic Poisoning among Bangladeshi Patients." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2, no. 3: 385-393.