Urinary Arsenic Concentrations and their Associated Factors in Korean Adults

  • Bae, Hye-Sun (Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University) ;
  • Ryu, Doug-Young (College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University) ;
  • Choi, Byung-Sun (Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University) ;
  • Park, Jung-Duck (Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University)
  • Received : 2013.06.24
  • Accepted : 2013.06.28
  • Published : 2013.06.30


Arsenic (As) is a well-known human carcinogen and its dietary exposure has been found to be the major route of entry into general population. This study was performed to assess the body levels of As and their associated factors in Korean adults by analyzing total As in urine. Urine and blood samples were collected from 580 adults aged 20 years and older, who had not been exposed to As occupationally. Demographic information was collected with the help of a standard questionnaire, including age, smoking, alcohol intake, job profiles, and diet consumed in the last 24 hrs of the study. Total As, sum of As(III), As(V), monomethylarsonic acid (MMA), dimethylarsinic acid (DMA), in urine was determined using atomic absorption spectrometer involving hydride generation method. The geometric mean concentration of total As in urine was $7.10{\mu}g/L$. Urine As was significantly higher in men ($7.63{\mu}g/L$) than in women ($6.75{\mu}g/L$). Age, smoking, alcohol consumption, and job profiles of study subjects did not significantly affect the concentration of As in urine. No significant relationship was observed between body mass index (BMI), Fe, and total cholesterol in serum and urinary As. Urine As level was positively correlated with seaweeds, fishes & shellfishes, and grain intake. A negative correlation between urinary As level and HDL-cholesterol in serum and meat intake was observed. Overall, these results suggest that urinary As concentration could be affected by seafood consumption. Therefore, people who frequently consume seafood and grain need to be monitored for chronic dietary As exposure.



Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea


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