Urinary cadmium excretion is associated with increased synthesis of cortico- and sex steroids in a population study.

TitreUrinary cadmium excretion is associated with increased synthesis of cortico- and sex steroids in a population study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBochud, M, Jenny-Burri, J, Pruijm, M, Ponte, B, Guessous, I, Ehret, G, Petrovic, D, Dudler, V, Haldimann, M, Escher, G, Dick, B, Mohaupt, M, Paccaud, F, Burnier, M, Pechère-Bertschi, A, Martin, P-Y, Vogt, B, Ackermann, D
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Date Published02/2018
Mots-clésAdrenal Cortex Hormones/metabolism, Adult, Aged, Aldosterone/analogs & derivatives, Aldosterone/urine, Cadmium/urine, Cohort Studies, Family, Female, Gonadal Steroid Hormones/metabolism, Gonadal Steroid Hormones/urine, Humans, Hypertension/metabolism, Hypertension/urine, Kidney/metabolism, Male, Middle Aged, Mineralocorticoids/urine, Testosterone/urine

Context: Urinary cadmium (Cd) excretion is associated with cancer and cardiovascular morbidity. A potential intermediate mechanism could be hormone-related by disturbing steroidogenesis in gonads and adrenal glands.

Objective: We tested whether urinary Cd and the excretion of metabolites of sex and corticosteroids are correlated in the general adult population.

Setting: The Swiss Kidney Project on Genes in Hypertension (SKIPOGH) is a multicentric family-based population study.

Measures: Cd was measured with an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer and urinary excretions of steroid hormone metabolites by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with separate day and night collections. Associations were analyzed by mixed linear models.

Results: There was a significant correlation between urinary Cd and testosterone excretions in men (β[SE, p]: 1.378[0.242, <0.0005] and 1.440[0.333, <0.0005] for day and night, respectively), but not in women (0.333[0.257, 0.2] and 0.674[0.361, 0.06]). Urinary Cd and cortisol excretions were positively associated in men and women (0.475[0.157, 0.0025] and 0.877[0.194, <0.0005], for day and 0.875[0.253, <0.0005] and 1.183[0.277, 0.00002] for night, respectively). There was no association with the excretion of tetrahydroaldosterone, the major metabolite of aldosterone, but there was with other mineralocorticoid metabolites in both genders (p<0.01). Further adjustment revealed an independent effect of Cd on the synthesis of sex hormones and corticosteroids and an interdependent effect on gluco- and mineralcorticoid production.

Conclusions: Our findings provide evidence for a global stimulating effect on steroid synthesis already at low-dose Cd exposure. These findings might explain the association of Cd with diseases such as steroid-sensitive cancers or metabolic disorders.

Alternate URL


First publication date (online)




Alternate JournalJ. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab.
Citation Key / SERVAL ID8314
Peer reviewRefereed
PubMed ID29077874


IUMSP | www.iumsp.ch
Institut universitaire de médecine sociale et préventive
Route de la Corniche 10, 1010 Lausanne - Switzerland
+41 21 314 72 72 | dess.info@unisante.ch

Go to top