UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Urinary cadmium and estimated dietary cadmium in the Women's Health Initiative

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Environmental Public Health | Women's Health


Cadmium, a heavy metal dispersed in the environment as a result of industrial and agricultural applications, has been implicated in several human diseases including renal disease, cancers, and compromised bone health. In the general population, the predominant sources of cadmium exposure are tobacco and diet. Urinary cadmium (uCd) reflects long-term exposure and has been frequently used to assess cadmium exposure in epidemiological studies; estimated dietary intake of cadmium (dCd) has also been used in several studies. The validity of dCd in comparison with uCd is unclear. This study aimed to compare dCd, estimated from food frequency questionnaires, to uCd measured in spot urine samples from 1,002 participants of the Women's Health Initiative. Using linear regression, we found that dCd was not statistically significantly associated with uCd (beta=0.006, P-value=0.14). When stratified by smoking status, dCd was not significantly associated with uCd both in never smokers (beta=0.006, P-value=0.09) and in ever smokers (beta=0.003, P-value=0.67). Our results suggest that because of the lack of association between estimated dCd and measured uCd, dietary estimation of cadmium exposure should be used with caution in epidemiologic studies.


Metals, Cadmium, Urinary cadmium, Dietary cadmium, exposure misclassification

DOI of Published Version



J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2016 May-Jun;26(3):303-8. doi: 10.1038/jes.2015.40. Epub 2015 May 27. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of exposure science and environmental epidemiology

PubMed ID