Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 368087, 10 pages
Review Article

Association between Arsenic Exposure and Diabetes: A Meta-Analysis

1Department of Health Care Management, University of Kang Ning, 188 Anjhong Road, Section 5, Tainan 70970, Taiwan
2Center for Occupational and Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, 138 Sheng-Li Road, Tainan 70428, Taiwan
3Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, 138 Sheng-Li Road, Tainan 70428, Taiwan
4Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, 138 Sheng-Li Road, Tainan 70428, Taiwan

Received 4 July 2014; Accepted 20 August 2014

Academic Editor: Shih-Bin Su

Copyright © 2015 Tzu-Ching Sung 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.


Studies on the association between arsenic exposure and diabetes mellitus (DM) yielded inconsistent results. Epidemiologic data on the associations between arsenic exposures via inhalation and DM are limited. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the risk of DM associated with arsenic exposure. We searched the related literature through a systematic approach and analyzed the data according to the exposure route (inhalation and ingestion). We used random-effect models to estimate the summary relative risks (RRs) for DM associated with arsenic exposure and used I2 statistics to assess the heterogeneity of studies. We identified 38 relevant studies, of which the 32 on the ingestion route showed a significant association between arsenic exposure and DM (RR = 1.57; 95% CI 1.27–1.93). Focusing on the 24 studies in which the diagnosis of DM was confirmed using laboratory tests or medical records, we found that the summary RR was 1.71 (95% CI 1.32–2.23), very close to the overall estimates. We concluded that ingested arsenic is associated with the development of DM, but the heterogeneity among the studies may affect the results.