Blood Cadmium and Depressive Symptoms in Young Adults (20-39 years)
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Blood Cadmium and Depressive Symptoms in Young Adults (20-39 years)

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    • Alternative Title:
      Psychol Med
    • Description:
      Background Genetic and environmental factors contribute to the risk of depression and several studies have noted an association between tobacco smoke and depression. Cadmium is a neurotoxicant, and the main source of non-occupational exposure is tobacco smoke. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of data from 2892 young adult (20-39 years) participants of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007-2010. Multivariate logistic regressions – adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, poverty-income ratio, obesity, alcohol intake, blood lead, and smoking status – were used to analyze the association between blood cadmium and depressive symptoms, as determined by score on the PHQ-9. Results Individuals in the highest quartile of blood cadmium had higher odds of having depressive symptoms (OR=2.79; 95% CI, 1.84, 4.25) compared to those in the lowest blood cadmium quartile. Smoking status was statistically significantly associated with depressive symptoms while blood lead was not. Stratification by smoking status found that blood cadmium was significantly associated with depressive symptoms in both non-smokers (OR=2.91; 95% CI, 1.12, 7.58) and current smokers (OR=2.69; 95% CI, 1.13, 6.42). Conclusions This is the first study reporting an association of blood cadmium levels with depressive symptoms using a nationally representative sample. The association of cadmium with depressive symptoms was independent of smoking status. If this association is further confirmed, the continued efforts at reducing cadmium exposures, mainly through tobacco smoking cessation programs, may decrease the incidence of depression.
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