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Article

A Positive Relationship between Exposure to Heavy Metals and Development of Chronic Diseases: A Case Study from Chile

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Departamento de Salud Pública, Escuela de Medicina, Universidad Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 8330077, Chile
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Advanced Center for Chronic Diseases (ACCDIS), Santiago 8330077, Chile
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Centro de Desarrollo Urbano Sustentable (CEDEUS), Santiago 8330077, Chile
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Laboratorio de Investigaciones Biomédicas (LIB), Departamento de Preclínicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Católica del Maule, Talca 3480005, Chile
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Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Avanzados del Maule (CIEAM), Universidad Católica del Maule, Talca 3480005, Chile
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Laboratorio de Neurotoxicología Ambiental, Departamento de Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Católica del Norte, Larrondo No. 1281, Coquimbo 1781421, Chile
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Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico en Algas y Otros Recursos Biológicos, Universidad Católica del Norte, Larrondo No. 1281, Coquimbo 1781421, Chile
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Departamento de Salud Pública, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo 1781421, Chile
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Hospital Dr. Jerónimo Méndez, Chañaral, Chañaral 1490000, Chile
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Laboratorio de Metrología Química, Comisión Chilena de Energía Nuclear, Santiago 7600713, Chile
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Aisha S. Dickerson and Aaron J. Specht
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1419; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041419
Received: 11 January 2021 / Revised: 25 January 2021 / Accepted: 28 January 2021 / Published: 3 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Exposure and Health Risk Assessment 2020)
Chile is a mining country, where waste mining is frequently found in the vicinity of inhabited areas. To explore the association between metal exposure and alterations in glucose metabolism, inflammatory status, and oxidative stress in individuals with chronic exposure to metals, a cross-sectional study was performed with 25 volunteers, between 45–65 years old. Inductive coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used to measure urinary levels of total arsenic (As) and its metabolites, cooper, nickel, chromium, and lead. Lipid profile, glucose, and insulin were measured in blood, as well as inflammation (interleukin-6, IL-6) and oxidative stress (8-hydroxy-2′deoxyguanosine, 8-OHdG) markers. Increased levels of Low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoproteins, cholesterol and 8-OHdG, and the index for homeostasis model assessment—insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were observed in 72%, 60%, and 56% of the volunteers, respectively. Blood-glucose levels were correlated with dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) (R2 = 0.47, p = 0.019), inorganic As (Asi) (R2 = 0.40, p = 0.012), and Ni (R2 = 0.56; p = 0.044). The models with these compounds explained 72% of the glycemia variability (βDMA = −6.47; βAsi = 6.68; βNi = 6.87). Ni showed a significantly influence on IL-6 variability (β = 0.85: R2 = 0.36). Changes in glycemia could be related to exposure to low levels of Asi and Ni, representing risk factors for metabolic diseases. Body mass index would confuse the relation between IL-6 and Ni levels, probably due to known chronic inflammation present in obese people. View Full-Text
Keywords: metabolic disorders; metal exposure; glycemia; cholesterol metabolic disorders; metal exposure; glycemia; cholesterol
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cortés, S.; Zúñiga-Venegas, L.; Pancetti, F.; Covarrubias, A.; Ramírez-Santana, M.; Adaros, H.; Muñoz, L. A Positive Relationship between Exposure to Heavy Metals and Development of Chronic Diseases: A Case Study from Chile. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 1419. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041419

AMA Style

Cortés S, Zúñiga-Venegas L, Pancetti F, Covarrubias A, Ramírez-Santana M, Adaros H, Muñoz L. A Positive Relationship between Exposure to Heavy Metals and Development of Chronic Diseases: A Case Study from Chile. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(4):1419. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041419

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cortés, Sandra, Liliana Zúñiga-Venegas, Floria Pancetti, Alejandra Covarrubias, Muriel Ramírez-Santana, Héctor Adaros, and Luis Muñoz. 2021. "A Positive Relationship between Exposure to Heavy Metals and Development of Chronic Diseases: A Case Study from Chile" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 4: 1419. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041419

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