Certain metals are harmful to the kidney and liver at high levels, but associations with functional biomarkers at low exposure levels among premenopausal women apparently has not been evaluated. Healthy, regularly menstruating women (n = 259) were followed for up to 2 menstrual cycles with up to 16 visits. Renal and liver biomarkers were measured in serum at each clinic visit. Cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and mercury (Hg) were measured in whole blood at baseline. Linear mixed models were adjusted for age, body mass index (BMI), race, average calories, alcohol intake, smoking, and cycle day. Median levels of Cd, Pb, and Hg were 0.31 μg/L, 0.88 μg/dl, and 1.1 μg/L, respectively. One-third of women had diminished glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (<90 ml/min/1.73 m(2)). Each twofold increase in Cd was associated with a negative 4.9% change in blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and bilirubin. Each twofold rise in Pb was associated with decreased eGFR and increased creatinine. A twofold elevation in Hg was associated with higher protein and reduced alkaline phosphatase. In healthy, predominantly nonsmoking women, low levels of Cd, Pb, and Hg were associated with changes in select biomarkers of kidney and liver function.
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