, Volume 141, Issue 1-3, pp 41-52
Date: 09 May 2010

The Content of Elements in Rainwater and Its Relation to the Frequency of Hospitalization for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in Opole Voivodship, Poland, During 2000–2002

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Abstract

Environmental factors play an essential role in the etiology of diseases of the hematopoietic system. Such factors include soil and water pollution and the presence of metals and toxic compounds in the air. Measuring the content of metallic elements in rainwater has become an accepted procedure for environmental pollution monitoring. In accordance with the above, it was decided to study relations between the content of selected elements in rainwater and hospitalization frequency due to chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL, C91 on ICD-10) and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML, C92 on ICD-10). It can be assumed that hospitalization frequency is a reliable indicator of exacerbations of these diseases. The annual average of hospitalizations due to a given disease during the years 2000–2002 was correlated with the annual average content of a given element in rainwater using the Spearman’s correlation indicator to describe the relationship between the element content and the disease that is possibly a consequence of the element’s presence in rainwater. In cases of CLL for all the subjected population and for men, no statistically significant correlations were found. For women, statistically significant correlations were found for chromium (r = 0.66), lead (r = 0.58), copper (r = 0.58), and cadmium (r = 0.51). For CML in all the studied population significant, negative correlations were found for magnesium (r = −0.6) and zinc (r = -0.52). In men, significant negative correlations were seen for magnesium (r = −0.69 and zinc (r = −0.55). No significant correlations were found in women. These results indicate the need of taking into account the environmental and gender factors in research connected with these diseases, which can be probably of help in improvements of therapy efficiency.