Association between dietary lead intake and 10-year mortality among Chinese adults

Zumin Shi, Shiqi Zhen, Nicola Orsini, Yonglin Zhou, Yijing Zhou, Jianghong Liu, Anne W. Taylor

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Blood lead level is associated with increased risk of mortality, but dietary lead exposure and mortality, particularly with cancer, has not been studied in the general population. The objective of the study was to assess the association between lead intake and 10-year mortality among 2832 Chinese adults. Food intake was measured by 3-day weighed food record in 2002. We documented 184 deaths (63 cancer deaths and 70 cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths) during 27,742 person-years of follow-up. Dietary lead intake was positively associated with cancer and all-cause mortality. Across quartiles of lead intake, hazard ratios (HRs) for cancer mortality were 1.00, 0.80 (0.33–1.92), 1.52 (0.65–3.56), and 3.00 (1.06–8.44) (p for trend 0.028). HRs for all-cause mortality were 1.00, 1.28 (0.83–1.98), 1.24 (0.78–1.97), and 2.24 (1.28–3.94) (p for trend 0.011). Each 30 μg/day increase of lead intake was associated with 25% (95% CI 3–52%) increase of all-cause mortality. There was an interaction between lead intake and hypertension in relation to CVD mortality (p for interaction 0.003): HRs conferred by every 30 μg/day of lead intake were 1.57 (0.98–2.52) and 1.06 (0.81–1.39) among those with or without hypertension. Dietary lead intake was positively related to cancer and all-cause mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12273-12280
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 May 2017


  • Cancer
  • Chinese
  • Cohort study
  • Dietary
  • Lead intake
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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