International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 58, Issue 5, pp 737–745 | Cite as

Environmental cadmium exposure and osteoporosis: a review

  • Katherine A. JamesEmail author
  • Jaymie R. Meliker



To review the published literature investigating the association between cadmium exposure and osteoporosis.


A review of published peer-reviewed literature based on a priori criteria was completed. Odds ratios (OR) were abstracted or estimated from observational studies to calculate a pooled OR using inverse variance weighted random effects models.


The review identified seven studies with a pooled OR of OR = 2.22 (95 % CI: 1.16, 4.28) [I 2 = 54.8 % (p < 0.05)] (comparing highest urine cadmium category to lowest). In women over the age of 50 years, the pooled OR was 1.82 (95 % CI: 1.63, 2.02) [I 2 = 73.1 % (p < 0.05)]. A dose response evaluation (six studies) suggested increasing odds for osteoporosis with increasing urine cadmium levels.


This review detected an association between cadmium exposure and the occurrence of osteoporosis in a small number of cross-sectional studies which requires confirmation in using prospective study design.


Cadmium Environmental exposure Osteoporosis 


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family Medicine, School of MedicineUniversity of ColoradoDenverUSA
  2. 2.Department of Preventive Medicine, Program in Public HealthState University of New YorkStony BrookUSA

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