About this Journal Submit a Manuscript Table of Contents
Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 180186, 11 pages
Research Article

Cadmium Exposure and Pancreatic Cancer in South Louisiana

1Epidemiology Program, School of Public Health, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 2020 Gravier Street, 3rd Floor, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
2Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2300, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
3Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, 6130 Executive Boulevard, Room 5140, MSC 7393, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
4Clinical Chemistry Core, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 6400 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA

Received 17 July 2012; Accepted 4 November 2012

Academic Editor: Habibul Ahsan

Copyright © 2012 Brian G. Luckett et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cadmium has been hypothesized to be a pancreatic carcinogen. We test the hypothesis that cadmium exposure is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer with a population-based case-control study sampled from a population with persistently high rates of pancreatic cancer (south Louisiana). We tested potential dietary and nondietary sources of cadmium for their association with urinary cadmium concentrations which reflect long-term exposure to cadmium due to the accumulation of cadmium in the kidney cortex. Increasing urinary cadmium concentrations were significantly associated with an increasing risk of pancreatic cancer (2nd quartile OR = 3.34, 3rd = 5.58, 4th = 7.70; test for trend . Potential sources of cadmium exposure, as documented in the scientific literature, found to be statistically significantly associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer included working as a plumber, pipefitter or welder (OR = 5.88) and high consumption levels of red meat (4th quartile OR = 6.18) and grains (4th quartile OR = 3.38). Current cigarette smoking, at least 80 pack years of smoking, occupational exposure to cadmium and paints, working in a shipyard, and high consumption of grains were found to be statistically significantly associated with increased concentrations of urinary cadmium. This study provides epidemiologic evidence that cadmium is a potential human pancreatic carcinogen.