An updated systematic review on the association between Cd exposure, blood pressure and hypertension

Airton C. Martins, Ana Carolina B. Almeida Lopes, Mariana R. Urbano, Maria de Fatima H. Carvalho, Ana Maria R. Silva, Alexey A. Tinkov, Michael Aschner, Arthur E. Mesas, Ellen K. Silbergeld, Monica M.B. Paoliello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Since the first report by Perry et al. (1955), most studies affirmed the hypertensive effects of cadmium (Cd) in humans. Nonetheless, conclusions between studies remain inconsistent. Objective: The aim of this study was to reevaluate the evidence for a potential relationship between Cd exposure and altered blood pressure and/or hypertension, focusing on studies published between January 2010 and March 2020. Methods: We reviewed all observational studies from database searches (PubMed and SCOPUS) on Cd exposure and blood pressure or hypertension. We extracted information from studies that provided sufficient data on population characteristics, smoking status, exposure, outcomes, and design. Results: Thirty-eight studies met our inclusion criteria; of those, twenty-nine were cross sectional, three case control, five cohort and one interventional study. Blood or urinary Cd levels were the most commonly used biomarkers. Conclusions: A positive association between blood Cd levels and blood pressure and/or hypertension was identified in numerous studies at different settings. Limited number of representative population-based studies of never-smokers was observed, which may have confounded our conclusions. The association between urinary Cd and blood pressure and/or hypertension remains uncertain due to conflicting results, including inverse relationships with lack of strong mechanistic support. We point to the urgent need for additional longitudinal studies to confirm our findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111636
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
StatePublished - Jan 15 2021


  • Blood
  • Blood pressure
  • Cadmium
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Systematic review
  • Urine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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