Blood concentrations of cadmium and lead in multiple sclerosis patients from Iran

Document Type : Research article


1 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences

2 MS Research Center, Department of Neurology, school of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences

3 Iranian Petroleum Industry Health Research Institute (IPIHRI), Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Drug & food control, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Tehran University of Medical Sciences


Since industrial revolution heavy metals such as lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) have been extensively dispersed in environment which, unknown biological effects and prolong biological half-life make them as a major hazard to human health. In addition, the sharp increase in Multiple sclerosis incidence rates has been recorded in Iran. The propose of this study was to measuring blood lead and cadmium concentration and their correlation with smoking habit in a group of 69 RRMS patients and 74 age/gender-matched healthy individuals resident in Tehran as most polluted city in Iran. All subjects were interviewed regarding age, medical history, possible chemical exposure, acute or chronic diseases, smoking and dietary habits. Blood Pb and Cd levels were measured by double beam GBC plus932 atomic absorption spectrometer. Our result indicated a significant difference in Cd level (p=0.006) in which, MS patients had higher blood concentration (1.82±0.13μg/L) in comparison with healthy individuals (1.47±0.11μg/L). A comparable blood Cd level to similar recent study (1.78µg/L vs.1.82µg/L) was observed. With respect to Pb there was no significant difference between cases and controls, however the geometric means of blood Pb concentration were considerably higher in males than in females in MS patients (57.1±33.7 μg/L vs. 36.7±21.9 μg/L).Taking into consideration tobacco smoking, an elevated contents of each metal were observed in smoker subjects (p<0.0001).A significant correlation between cigarette smoking and risk of multiple sclerosis was shown before. Thus, high level of Cd in smokers might affect the susceptibility to multiple sclerosis and could increase the risk of disease development.


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