Changes in blood and urinary cadmium levels and bone mineral density according to osteoporosis medication in individuals with an increased cadmium body burden

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The aim of this study was to assess changes in bone mineral density (BMD) and cadmium (Cd) levels in blood and urine in individuals living in a Cd-contaminated area according to the type of osteoporosis medication over a three-year period. This follow-up study included 204 residents living in the vicinity of a closed copper refinery, who had been found to have elevated urinary or blood Cd levels. Cd levels in the blood and urine, as well as BMD, were measured every 6 months. After the first BMD measurement, individuals were prescribed antiresorptives such as alendronate or vitamin D and calcium, according to their BMD. Subjects were classified according to the type of medicine provided over the previous 6 months. General linear models controlling for other factors were used to evaluate the effects of each type of medication on the participants’ Cd levels and BMD. Spinal BMD showed a significant increase in the antiresorptive group compared to the nontreatment group. Significant decreases in blood Cd levels were found in the vitamin D and calcium group, in comparison to the nontreatment group, as well as a marginally significant decrease in the antiresorptive group. The vitamin D and calcium group showed a significantly greater decrease in urinary Cd levels than the nontreatment group. In contrast, antiresorptive medication was found to have a negative effect on urinary Cd excretion. These results suggest that vitamin D and calcium treatment for osteoporosis lowers blood Cd levels more effectively and improves urinary Cd excretion.

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