Background: Workers can be exposed to cadmium (Cd) in various industries. On the other hand, another potential source for Cd exposure is the food chain and smoking. Environmental pollution to Cd plays an important role in the development of atherosclerosis. Asymmetric dimethyl arginine (ADMA) levels promote the development of endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis-related diseases such as hypertension, acute coronary syndrome, congestive heart failure, and peripheral vascular diseases. The aim of this study is to evaluate the cardiovascular risks of non-symptomatic cadmium-exposed workers and to promote the value of methylated arginines in screening of toxic exposures.
Methods: A total 176 participants were included in the study which has been separated as control group (n = 79) and Cd-exposed group (n = 94). Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used for toxicological analysis of Cd levels. Also, liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was used for levels of methylated arginines such as ADMA, symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA), NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NM-MA), homoarginine, and citrulline.
Results: Statistically significant differences were observed for control and Cd-exposed groups, respectively as follows: Cd levels (0.25 ± 0.13 µg/L and 1.33 ± 0.61 µg/L), ADMA (0.16 ± 0.04 µmol/L and 0.22 ± 0.11 µmol/L), SDMA (0.21 ± 0.06 µmol/L and 0.27 ± 0.07 µmol/L), L-NMMA(0.02 ± 0.01 µmol/L and 0.03 ± 0.01μmol/L), and arginine/ADMA levels (695.82 ± 620.63 and 478.30 ± 432.61).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that workers chronically exposed to Cd showed imbalances in endothelial parameters.