Anna-Lena Lindberg

Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Stockholm, Sweden

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Publications (12)43.06 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the variation in exposure to toxic metals by age and gender and other potential modifying factors. We evaluated age and gender differences by measurements of metal/element concentrations in urine in a rural population in Matlab, Bangladesh, in three age groups: 8-12 (N=238), 14-15 (N=107) and 30-88 (N=710) years of age, living in an area with no point sources of metal exposure but where elevated water arsenic concentrations are prevalent. We found marked differences in urine concentrations of metals and trace elements by gender, age, tobacco use, socioeconomic and nutritional status. Besides a clearly elevated urinary arsenic concentration in all age groups (medians 63-85 μg As/L), and despite the low degree of contamination from industries and traffic, the urine concentrations of toxic metals such as cadmium and lead were clearly elevated, especially in children (median 0.31 μg Cd/L and 2.9 μg Pb/L, respectively). In general, women had higher urinary concentrations of toxic metals, especially Cd (median 0.81 μg/L) compared to men (0.66 μg/L) and U (median 10 ng/L in women, compared to 6.4 ng/L in men), while men had higher urinary concentrations of the basic and essential elements Ca (69 mg/L in men, 30-50 years, compared to 52 mg/L in women), Mg (58 mg/L in men compared to 50 mg/L in women), Zn (182 μg/L in men compared to 117 μg/L in women) and Se (9.9 μg/L in men compared to 8.7 μg/L in women). Manganese was consistently higher in females than in males in all age groups, suggesting a biological difference between females and males in Mn metabolism. Increasing socioeconomic status decreased the toxic metal exposure significantly in children and especially in men. Poor iron status was detected in 17% of children, adolescents and women, but only in 6% of men. Also zinc deficiency was more prevalent in females than in males. Women and children seemed to be more at risk for toxic metal exposure than men and at the same time more vulnerable to micronutrient deficiency. Higher concentrations of the toxic metals in urine in women are likely to reflect an increased gastrointestinal absorption of these metals at micronutrient deficiency, such as low body iron stores and Zn deficiency. Higher urinary concentrations of the essential elements in men likely reflect a better nutritional status. There is a need for information on exposure, lifestyle and socioeconomic factors, stratified by gender and age, for the purpose of conducting balanced risk assessment and management that considers such differences.
    Environmental Research 09/2011; 111(8):1271-9. · 3.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We recently reported that the main reason for the documented higher prevalence of arsenic-related skin lesions among men than among women is the result of less efficient arsenic metabolism. Because smoking has been associated with less efficient arsenic methylation, we aimed to elucidate interactions between tobacco use and arsenic metabolism for the risk of developing skin lesions. We used a population-based case-referent study that showed increased risk for skin lesions in relation to chronic arsenic exposure via drinking water in Bangladesh and randomly selected 526 of the referents (random sample of inhabitants > 4 years old; 47% male) and all 504 cases (54% male) with arsenic-related skin lesions to measure arsenic metabolites [methylarsonic acid (MA) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA)] in urine using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS). The odds ratio for skin lesions was almost three times higher in the highest tertile of urinary %MA than in the lowest tertile. Men who smoked cigarettes and bidis (locally produced cigarettes; 33% of referents, 58% of cases) had a significantly higher risk for skin lesions than did nonsmoking men; this association decreased slightly after accounting for arsenic metabolism. Only two women smoked, but women who chewed tobacco (21% of referents, 43% of cases) had a considerably higher risk of skin lesions than did women who did not use tobacco. The odds ratio (OR) for women who chewed tobacco and who had < or = 7.9%MA was 3.8 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.4-10] compared with women in the same MA tertile who did not use tobacco. In the highest tertile of %MA or %inorganic arsenic (iAs), women who chewed tobacco had ORs of 7.3 and 7.5, respectively, compared with women in the lowest tertiles who did not use tobacco. The increased risk of arsenic-related skin lesions in male smokers compared with nonsmokers appears to be partly explained by impaired arsenic methylation, while there seemed to be an excess risk due to interaction between chewing tobacco and arsenic metabolism in women.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 04/2010; 118(4):533-8. · 7.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is known that a high fraction of methylarsonate (MA) in urine is a risk modifying factor for several arsenic induced health effects, including skin lesions, and that men are more susceptible for developing skin lesions than women. Thus, we aimed at elucidating the interaction between gender and arsenic metabolism for the risk of developing skin lesions. This study is part of a population-based case-referent study concerning the risk for skin lesions in relation to arsenic exposure via drinking water carried out in Matlab, a rural area 53 km south-east of Dhaka, Bangladesh. We randomly selected 526 from 1579 referents and all 504 cases for analysis of arsenic metabolites in urine using HPLC coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HPLC-HG-ICPMS). The present study confirm previous studies, with the risk for skin lesions being almost three times higher in the highest tertile of %MA (adjusted OR 2.8, 95% CI: 1.9-4.2, p < 0.001) compared to the lowest tertile. The present study is the first to show that the well documented higher risk for men to develop arsenic-related skin lesions compared to women is mainly explained by the less efficient methylation of arsenic, as defined by a higher fraction of MA and lower fraction of DMA in the urine, among men. Our previously documented lower risk for skin lesions in individuals exposed since infancy, or before, was found to be independent of the observed arsenic methylation efficiency. Thus, it can be speculated that this is due to a programming effect of arsenic in utero.
    Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 07/2008; 230(1):9-16. · 3.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study aims at evaluating the suitability of adjusting urinary concentrations of arsenic, or any other urinary biomarker, for variations in urine dilution by creatinine and specific gravity in a malnourished population. We measured the concentrations of metabolites of inorganic arsenic, creatinine and specific gravity in spot urine samples collected from 1466 individuals, 5-88 years of age, in Matlab, rural Bangladesh, where arsenic-contaminated drinking water and malnutrition are prevalent (about 30% of the adults had body mass index (BMI) below 18.5 kg/m(2)). The urinary concentrations of creatinine were low; on average 0.55 g/L in the adolescents and adults and about 0.35 g/L in the 5-12 years old children. Therefore, adjustment by creatinine gave much higher numerical values for the urinary arsenic concentrations than did the corresponding data expressed as microg/L, adjusted by specific gravity. As evaluated by multiple regression analyses, urinary creatinine, adjusted by specific gravity, was more affected by body size, age, gender and season than was specific gravity. Furthermore, urinary creatinine was found to be significantly associated with urinary arsenic, which further disqualifies the creatinine adjustment.
    Environmental Research 03/2008; 106(2):212-8. · 3.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although genetic polymorphisms have been shown to explain some of the large variation observed in the metabolism of inorganic arsenic there may be several other factors playing an important role, e.g. nutrition. The objective of this study was to elucidate the influence of various factors on current arsenic exposure and metabolism in Matlab, a rural area in Bangladesh, where elevated water arsenic concentrations and malnutrition are prevalent. In total 1571 individuals, randomly selected from all inhabitants above 5 years of age, were investigated by measuring arsenic in urine and drinking water. In a subset of 526 randomly selected individuals, arsenic metabolites were speciated using HPLC coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HPLC-HG-ICPMS). A significant association was observed between arsenic in urine and drinking water (R2=0.41). The contribution to urinary arsenic from arsenic exposure from food and other water sources was calculated to be almost 50microg/L. The individuals in the present study had remarkably efficient methylation, in spite of high exposure and prevalence of malnutrition. Gender and age were major factors influencing arsenic metabolism in this population with a median of 77microg/L of arsenic in urine (range: 0.5-1994microg/L). Women had higher arsenic methylation efficiency than men, but only in childbearing age, supporting an influence of sex hormones. Overall, exposure level of arsenic, gender and age explained at most 30% of the variation in the present study, indicating that genetic polymorphisms are the most important factor influencing the metabolism of inorganic arsenic.
    Environmental Research 02/2008; 106(1):110-20. · 3.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is a wide variation in susceptibility to health effects of arsenic, which, in part, may be due to differences in arsenic metabolism. Arsenic is metabolized by reduction and methylation reactions, catalyzed by reductases and methyltransferases. Our goal in this study was to elucidate the influence of various demographic and genetic factors on the metabolism of arsenic. We studied 415 individuals from Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia by measuring arsenic metabolites in urine using liquid chromatography with hydride generation and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HPLC-HG-ICPMS). We performed genotyping of arsenic (+III) methyltransferase (AS3MT), glutathione S-transferase omega 1 (GSTO1), and methylene-tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). The results show that the M287T (T-->C) polymorphism in the AS3MT gene, the A222V (C-->T) polymorphism in the MTHFR gene, body mass index, and sex are major factors that influence arsenic metabolism in this population, with a median of 8.0 microg/L arsenic in urine. Females < 60 years of age had, in general, higher methylation efficiency than males, indicating an influence of sex steroids. That might also explain the observed better methylation in overweight or obese women, compared with normal weight men. The influence of the M287T (T-->C) polymorphism in the AS3MT gene on the methylation capacity was much more pronounced in men than in women. The factors investigated explained almost 20% of the variation seen in the metabolism of arsenic among men and only around 4% of the variation among women. The rest of the variation is probably explained by other methyltransferases backing up the methylation of arsenic.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 08/2007; 115(7):1081-6. · 7.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This work compares the three most common analytical methods for determination of inorganic arsenic and its metabolites in urine: high performance liquid chromatography coupled to either inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry or atomic fluorescence spectrometry via hydride generation (high performance liquid chromatography-hydride generation-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HPLC-HG-ICPMS) and HPLC-HG-atomic fluorescence spectrometry (AFS), respectively) and atomic absorption spectrometry coupled to HG (HG-atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS)). This was done with the focus to find alternatives to ICPMS, the investment and running costs of which are rather high. Between-laboratory comparison of HPLC-HG-ICPMS and HPLC-HG-AFS showed good agreement for inorganic arsenic, methylarsonate (MA) and dimethylarsinate (DMA) (R(2)=0.91, R(2)=0.92 and R(2)=0.90, respectively, N=86). Within-laboratory comparisons of HPLC-HG-AFS, HPLC-HG-ICPMS and HG-AAS showed good agreement for all arsenic species and the sum of inorganic arsenic and its metabolites in urine (HPLC-HG-ICPMS versus HPLC-HG-AFS: R(2)=0.95; HG-AAS versus HPLC-HG-AFS: R(2)=0.95 and HPLC-HG-ICPMS versus HG-AAS: R(2)=0.97; N=89). HPLC-HG-AFS was found to be a simple, but high quality alternative to HPLC-HG-ICPMS for the speciation and quantification of inorganic arsenic and its metabolites in urine at arsenic concentrations above 10microgL(-1). Because of its considerably lower costs compared to HPLC-HG-ICPMS, it may be a good alternative in laboratories where the high cost of ICPMS is not justified in relation to the intended use of the instrument.
    Toxicology Letters 03/2007; 168(3):310-8. · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inorganic arsenic is a potent human carcinogen and toxicant which people are exposed to mainly via drinking water and food. The objective of the present study was to assess current exposure to arsenic via drinking water in three European countries. For this purpose, 520 individuals from four Hungarian, two Slovakian and two Romanian countries were investigated by measuring inorganic arsenic and methylated arsenic metabolites in urine by high performance liquid chromatography with hydride generation and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Arsenic in drinking water was determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. Significantly higher concentrations of arsenic were found in both the water and the urine samples from the Hungarian counties (median: 11 and 15 microg dm(-3), respectively; p < 0.001) than from the Slovakian (median: 0.94 and 4.5 microg dm(-3), respectively) and Romanian (median: 0.70 and 2.1 microg dm(-3), respectively) counties. A significant correlation was seen between arsenic in water and arsenic in urine (R(2)= 0.46). At low water arsenic concentrations, the relative amount of dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) in urine was increased, indicating exposure via food. Also, high body mass index was associated with higher concentrations of arsenic in urine (p= 0.03), mostly in the form of DMA. Smokers had significantly higher urinary arsenic concentrations than non-smokers (p= 0.03). In conclusion, elevated arsenic exposure via drinking water was prevalent in some of the counties. Exposure to arsenic from food, mainly as DMA, and cigarette smoke, mainly as inorganic arsenic, are major determinants of arsenic exposure at very low concentrations of arsenic in drinking water.
    Journal of Environmental Monitoring 01/2006; 8(1):203-8. · 2.09 Impact Factor
  • Toxicology Letters - TOXICOL LETT. 01/2006; 164.
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    ABSTRACT: The extensive use of fish meal as a source of protein for poultry and swine may lead to additional exposure to methylmercury (MeHg). We determined the concentration of MeHg and inorganic mercury (I-Hg) in blood and total mercury (T-Hg) in hair in 27 persons (9 men and 18 women, 20-58 years of age) who stated that they had consumed no fish for a period of 2 years or more. The participants answered a food frequency questionnaire and reported their number of dental amalgam fillings. The MeHg concentrations in blood (median, 0.10 microg/L; range, 0.0-1.0 microg/L) were very low and did not constitute a concern for health effects. We also analyzed selenium (Se) in serum. The median concentration was 76 microg/L (range, 53-103 microg/L), which is in agreement with previous studies of the Swedish general population, indicating that the Se status of non-fish-eating individuals is not substantially lower than that of people who include fish in their diet. We found a significant association (P=0.002) between the number of dental amalgam fillings and the I-Hg concentration in blood (median, 0.09 microg/L; range, 0.03-0.57 microg/L). The T-Hg in hair (median, 0.06 mg/kg; range, 0.04-0.32 mg/kg) was significantly associated (R2=0.89; P<0.001) with the MeHg in blood, but not with the I-Hg in blood. Therefore, the T-Hg in hair seems to reflect MeHg exposure and not I-Hg exposure even in persons with no intake of fish.
    Environmental Research 10/2004; 96(1):28-33. · 3.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two novel thio arsenosugars have been identified by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry as significant arsenic constituents in samples of mussels.
    Chemical Communications 09/2004; · 6.38 Impact Factor
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    Anna-Lena Lindberg