Exposure to Arsenic and Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease in 9- to 11-Year-Old Children, Syracuse, New York

Brooks B. Gump, Kevin Heffernan, Lynn S. Brann, Dustin T. Hill, Charlotte Labrie-Cleary, Vikrant Jandev, James A. MacKenzie, Nader H. Atallah-Yunes, Patrick J. Parsons, Christopher D. Palmer, Austin A. Roberts, Kestutis Bendinskas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Importance: Studies in adults have demonstrated associations between arsenic exposure and clinical and subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD). No studies to date have considered potential associations in children. Objective: To examine the association between total urinary arsenic levels in children and subclinical indicators of CVD. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study considered 245 children, a subset from the Environmental Exposures and Child Health Outcomes (EECHO) cohort. Children from the Syracuse, New York, metropolitan area were recruited from August 1, 2013, until November 30, 2017, with enrollment throughout the year. Statistical analysis was performed from January 1, 2022, to February 28, 2023. Exposures: Total urinary arsenic was measured using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Creatinine concentration was used to adjust for urinary dilution. In addition, potential exposure routes (eg, diet) were measured. Main Outcomes and Measures: Three indicators of subclinical CVD were assessed: carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, carotid intima media thickness, and echocardiographic measures of cardiac remodeling. Results: The study sample included 245 children aged 9 to 11 years (mean [SD] age, 10.52 [0.93] years; 133 [54.3%] female). The geometric mean of the creatinine-adjusted total arsenic level in the population was 7.76 μg/g creatinine. After adjustment for covariates, elevated total arsenic levels were associated with significantly greater carotid intima media thickness (β = 0.21; 95% CI, 0.08-0.33; P =.001). In addition, echocardiography revealed that elevated total arsenic was significantly higher for children with concentric hypertrophy (indicated by greater left ventricular mass and greater relative wall thickness; geometric mean, 16.77 μg/g creatinine; 95% CI, 9.87-28.79 μg/g) relative to the reference group (geometric mean, 7.39 μg/g creatinine; 95% CI, 6.36-8.58 μg/g). With respect to exposure source, significant geographic clustering of total arsenic was found in 1 urban area of Syracuse, New York. Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest a significant association between arsenic exposure and subclinical CVD in children. Elevated total arsenic levels were found in an area of Syracuse with known elevations of toxic metals from industrial waste, suggesting historical pollution as a possible source. Given the novelty and potential importance of this association, further research is needed to confirm our findings. Any potential effect of urinary arsenic exposure in childhood on actual clinical CVD outcomes in adulthood remains to be determined..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E2321379
JournalJAMA Network Open
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 30 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Exposure to Arsenic and Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease in 9- to 11-Year-Old Children, Syracuse, New York'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this