This study hypothesized that plasma folate and vitamin B12 levels modified the association between blood lead and cadmium and total urinary arsenic levels and bone loss. A total of 447 study subjects who received a physical examination at the Wanfang Hospital Medical Center were recruited. Bone loss was defined as a calcaneus bone mineral density T-score less than −1. Blood cadmium and lead concentrations were measured by ICP-MS. Urinary arsenic species were determined using HPLC-HG-AAS. A SimulTRAC-SNB radioassay was used to measure plasma folate, vitamin B12, and homocysteine levels. Total urinary arsenic and blood lead concentration were positively correlated with the odds ratio (OR) for bone loss in a dose–response manner. The OR and 95% confidence interval (CI) for bone loss in participants with blood lead concentrations > 56.14 versus ≤33.82 µg/dL were 1.82 and 1.10–3.01. No correlation between plasma folate and vitamin B12 levels alone and bone loss was observed. However, this study is the first observational study to find that blood lead concentrations tend to increase the OR of bone loss in a low plasma folate and plasma vitamin B12 group with multivariate ORs (95% CI) of 2.44 (0.85–6.96).
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