Dose-response relationship between inorganic arsenic exposure and lung cancer among arseniasis residents with low methylation capacity

Kuang Hung Hsu, Ke Hung Tsui, Ling I. Hsu, Hung Yi Chiou, Chien Jen Chen

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Exposure to inorganic arsenic (InAs) has been documented as a risk factor for lung cancer. This study examined the association between InAs exposure, its metabolism, and lung cancer occurrence. Methods: We followed 1,300 residents from an arseniasis area in Taiwan, determined urinary InAs metabolites, and identified 39 lung cancer cases. Cox proportional hazards model was performed. Results: The results demonstrated that participants with either the primary methylation index [monomethylarsonic acid (MMA)/InAs] or the secondary methylation index [dimethylarsenic acid (DMA)/MMA] lower than their respective median values were at a higher risk of lung cancer (HRs from 3.41 to 4.66) than those with high methylation capacity. The incidence density of lung cancer increased from 79.9/100,000 (year1) to 467.4/100,000 (year1) for residents with low methylation capacity and from 0 to 158.5/100,000 (year1) for residents with high methylation capacity when the arsenic exposure dose increased from 2 to 10 ppb to 200 ppb, respectively. The analyses revealed a dose-response relationship between lung cancer occurrence and increasing arsenic concentrations in drinking water as well as cumulative arsenic exposure (monotonic trend test; P < 0.05 and P < 0.05, respectively) among the residents with low methylation capacity. The relationship between arsenic exposure and lung cancer among high methylators was not statistically significant. Conclusions: Hypomethylation responses to InAs exposure may dose dependently increase lung cancer occurrence. Impact: The high-risk characteristics observed among those exposed should be considered in future preventive medicine and research on arsenic carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)756-761
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology

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