A systematic review and meta-regression analysis of lung cancer risk and inorganic arsenic in drinkingwater

Steven H. Lamm, Hamid Ferdosi, Elisabeth K. Dissen, Ji Li, Jaeil Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


High levels (> 200 μg/L) of inorganic arsenic in drinking water are known to be a cause of human lung cancer, but the evidence at lower levels is uncertain. We have sought the epidemiological studies that have examined the dose-response relationship between arsenic levels in drinking water and the risk of lung cancer over a range that includes both high and low levels of arsenic. Regression analysis, based on six studies identified from an electronic search, examined the relationship between the log of the relative risk and the log of the arsenic exposure over a range of 1–1000 μg/L. The best-fitting continuous meta-regression model was sought and found to be a no-constant linear-quadratic analysis where both the risk and the exposure had been logarithmically transformed. This yielded both a statistically significant positive coefficient for the quadratic term and a statistically significant negative coefficient for the linear term. Sub-analyses by study design yielded results that were similar for both ecological studies and non-ecological studies. Statistically significant X-intercepts consistently found no increased level of risk at approximately 100–150 μg/L arsenic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15498-15515
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 7 2015


  • Arsenic
  • Dose-response
  • Drinking water
  • Lung cancer
  • Risk analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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