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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31815ae9d4
Original Articles

Arsenic Exposure and Anemia in Bangladesh: A Population-Based Study

Heck, Julia E. PhD; Chen, Yu PhD; Grann, Victor R. MD; Slavkovich, Vesna MS; Parvez, Faruque MPH; Ahsan, Habibul MD, MMedSci

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Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the association between arsenic exposure and anemia, based on blood hemoglobin concentration.

Methods: Hemoglobin measures, skin lesions, arsenic exposure, and nutritional and demographic information were collected from 1954 Bangladeshi participants in the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study. We used general linear modeling to assess the association between arsenic exposure and hemoglobin concentration, examining men and women separately.

Results: Arsenic exposure (urinary arsenic >200 μg/L) was negatively associated with hemoglobin among all men and among women with hemoglobin <10 d/L. Other predictors of anemia in men and women included older age, lower body mass index, and low intake of iron. Among women, the use of contraceptives predicted higher hemoglobin.

Conclusions: The study suggests an association between high arsenic exposure and anemia in Bangladesh.

©2008The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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