Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 13, pp 12273–12280 | Cite as

Association between dietary lead intake and 10-year mortality among Chinese adults

  • Zumin Shi
  • Shiqi Zhen
  • Nicola Orsini
  • Yonglin Zhou
  • Yijing Zhou
  • Jianghong Liu
  • Anne W. Taylor
Research Article


Blood lead level is associated with increased risk of mortality, but dietary lead exposure and mortality, particularly with cancer, has not been studied in the general population. The objective of the study was to assess the association between lead intake and 10-year mortality among 2832 Chinese adults. Food intake was measured by 3-day weighed food record in 2002. We documented 184 deaths (63 cancer deaths and 70 cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths) during 27,742 person-years of follow-up. Dietary lead intake was positively associated with cancer and all-cause mortality. Across quartiles of lead intake, hazard ratios (HRs) for cancer mortality were 1.00, 0.80 (0.33–1.92), 1.52 (0.65–3.56), and 3.00 (1.06–8.44) (p for trend 0.028). HRs for all-cause mortality were 1.00, 1.28 (0.83–1.98), 1.24 (0.78–1.97), and 2.24 (1.28–3.94) (p for trend 0.011). Each 30 μg/day increase of lead intake was associated with 25% (95% CI 3–52%) increase of all-cause mortality. There was an interaction between lead intake and hypertension in relation to CVD mortality (p for interaction 0.003): HRs conferred by every 30 μg/day of lead intake were 1.57 (0.98–2.52) and 1.06 (0.81–1.39) among those with or without hypertension. Dietary lead intake was positively related to cancer and all-cause mortality.


Dietary Lead intake Cancer Mortality Chinese Cohort study 



The research was supported by The University of Adelaide and Jiangsu Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was conducted according to the guidelines laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki, and all procedures involving human subjects/patients were approved by Jiangsu Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Written consents were obtained from all the participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nutrition and Foodborne Disease PreventionJiangsu Provincial Centre for Disease Control and PreventionNanjingChina
  2. 2.Discipline of MedicineUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.Discipline of MedicineUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.Institute of Environmental MedicineKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  5. 5.University of Pennsylvania School of NursingPhiladelphiaUSA

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