Nickel exposure and prevalent albuminuria and ?2-microglobulinuria: evidence from a population-based study

High exposure to nickel could induce renal dysfunction in rodents and occupational workers. However, little is known about the effects of non-occupational exposure to nickel on renal health in the general population. During the present study, the authors examined the associations of urinary nickel concentrations with albuminuria and ?2-microglobulinuria in Chinese adults. 2115 non-institutionalised Chinese men and women aged 55-76 years from Beijing and Shanghai were included. Urinary nickel concentrations were assessed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy. Plasma uric acid, urea nitrogen, C reactive protein and urinary albumin, ?2-microglobulin and creatinine were measured. Albuminuria was defined as urinary albumin ?30 mg/g creatinine, and ?2-microglobulinuria was defined as urinary ?2-microglobulin ?200 µg/g creatinine. Median concentration of urinary nickel was 3.95 ?g/g creatinine (IQR: 2.57-6.71?g/g creatinine), and prevalence of albuminuria, ?2-microglobulinuria and both albuminuria and ?2-microglobulinuria was 22.1%, 24.5% and 9.7%, respectively. Comparing the highest with the lowest quartile of urinary nickel, the ORs (95% CIs) were 1.99 (1.46 to 2.78) for albuminuria, 1.44 (1.07 to 1.95) for ?2-microglobulinuria, and 2.95 (1.74 to 4.97) for both albuminuria and ?2-microglobulinuria, after adjustment for demographic characteristics, lifestyle behaviours, body mass index, hypertension and diabetes. The association remained significant when further controlling for inflammatory markers or other heavy metals (all p trend <0.05). The authors concluded that this study suggested that urinary nickel levels were positively associated with albuminuria and ?2-microglobulinuria in Chinese men and women, who had relatively low background nickel exposure. More prospective studies are needed to confirm our findings. Authors: Liu G, Sun Q, Zhu M, Sun L, Wang Z, Li H, Li Z, Chen Y, Yin H, Lin X. ;Full Source: Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. 2015 Nov 26. pii: jech-2015-205994. doi: 10.1136/jech-2015-205994. [Epub ahead of print] ;