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Inorganic arsenic and respiratory health, from early life exposure to sex-specific effects: A systematic review
- Sanchez, Tiffany R., Perzanowski, Matthew, Graziano, Joseph H.
- Environmental research 2016 v.147 pp. 537-555
- arsenic, gender differences, longevity, lung function, mortality, respiratory tract diseases, systematic review, uncertainty, United States
- This systematic review synthesizes the diverse body of epidemiologic research accrued on inorganic arsenic exposure and respiratory health effects. Twenty-nine articles were identified that examined the relationship between inorganic arsenic exposure and respiratory outcomes (i.e. lung function, symptoms, acute respiratory infections, chronic non-malignant lung diseases, and non-malignant lung disease mortality). There was strong evidence of a general association between arsenic and non-malignant respiratory illness, including consistent evidence on lung function impairment, acute respiratory tract infections, respiratory symptoms, and non-malignant lung disease mortality. Overall, early life exposure (i.e. in utero and/or early-childhood) had a marked effect throughout the lifespan. This review also identified some research gaps, including limited evidence at lower levels of exposure (water arsenic <100μg/L), mixed evidence of sex differences, and some uncertainty on arsenic and any single non-malignant respiratory disease or pathological process. Common limitations, including potential publication bias; non-comparability of outcome measures across included articles; incomplete exposure histories; and limited confounder control attenuated the cumulative strength of the evidence as it relates to US populations. This systematic review provides a comprehensive assessment of the epidemiologic evidence and should be used to guide future research on arsenic's detrimental effects on respiratory health.