Background: Inorganic arsenic has been linked to decreased kidney function through oxidative damage. Arsenic methylation is believed to be a pathway for arsenic metabolism. Lycopene is an antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress; however, the association between urinary arsenic species, plasma lycopene level, and chronic kidney disease (CKD) has seldom been evaluated. Study Design: Case-control study. Setting & Participants: 125 patients with CKD and 229 controls were recruited from a hospital-based pool. Predictor: Urinary arsenic species and plasma lycopene level. Outcomes & Measurements: CKD was defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2, calculated by using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease Study equation. Plasma lycopene was measured by means of high-performance liquid chromatography. Urinary arsenic species, including arsenite, arsenate, monomethylarsonic acid, and dimethylarsinic acid, were determined by means of high-performance liquid chromatography and hydride generator-atomic absorption spectrometry. Results: Lycopene level was associated positively with eGFR, and participants with a high serum lycopene level had a significant, inverse association with CKD (odds ratio, 0.41; 95% confidence interval, 0.21 to 0.81). Total arsenic level was associated significantly with CKD in a dose-response relationship, especially in participants with a total arsenic level greater than 20.74 compared with 11.78 μg/g creatinine or less (odds ratio, 4.34; 95% confidence interval, 1.94 to 9.69). Furthermore, participants with a high urinary total arsenic level or participants with a low percentage of dimethylarsinic acid had a positive association with CKD when their plasma lycopene level was low. Limitations: Because of the single spot evaluation of plasma antioxidants and urinary arsenic species and the small sample size, statistical significance should be interpreted with caution. Conclusions: This study shows that high urinary total arsenic or low plasma lycopene level is associated positively with CKD. Results suggest that the capacity for arsenic methylation may be associated with CKD in individuals who ingest low arsenic levels in drinking water and also have a low plasma lycopene level.
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