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Jan Nilsson


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Biomarkers of blood cadmium and incidence of cardiovascular events in non-smokers : Results from a population-based proteomics study


  • Yan Borné
  • Björn Fagerberg
  • Gerd Sallsten
  • Bo Hedblad
  • Margaretha Persson
  • Olle Melander
  • Jan Nilsson
  • Marju Orho-Melander
  • Lars Barregard
  • Gunnar Engström

Summary, in English

Background: Cadmium is a toxic metal with multiple adverse health effects, including risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The mechanistic link between cadmium and CVD is unclear. Our aim was to examine the associations between blood cadmium (B-Cd) and 88 potential protein biomarkers of CVD. Methods: B-Cd and 88 plasma proteins were measured in a community-based prospective cohort, the Malmö Diet and Cancer study. The primary analysis was performed in never smokers (n = 1725). Multiple linear regression was used with adjustments for age and sex, and correction for multiple comparisons using the false discovery rate method. Proteins significantly associated with B-Cd were replicated in long-term former smokers (n = 782). Significant proteins were then studied in relation to incidence of CVD (i.e., coronary events or ischemic stroke) in never smokers. Results: Fifteen proteins were associated with B-Cd in never smokers. Eight of them were replicated in long-term former smokers. Kidney injury molecule-1, fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23), tumor necrosis factor receptor-2, matrix metalloproteinase-12, cathepsin L1, urokinase plasminogen activator receptor, C-C motif chemokine-3 (CCL3), and chemokine (C-X3-C motif) ligand-1 were associated with B-Cd both in never smokers and long-term former smokers. Except for CCL3 and FGF23, these proteins were also significantly associated with incidence of CVD. Conclusions: B-Cd in non-smokers was associated with eight potential plasma biomarkers of CVD and kidney injury. The results suggest pathways for the associations between B-Cd and CVD and kidney injury.


  • Cardiovascular Research - Epidemiology
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health
  • Internal Medicine - Epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Research - Hypertension
  • EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden
  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes - Cardiovascular Disease

Publishing year





Clinical Proteomics





Document type

Journal article


Humana Press


  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology


  • Cadmium
  • Cohort study
  • CVD
  • Non-smokers
  • Proteomics study



Research group

  • Cardiovascular Research - Epidemiology
  • Internal Medicine - Epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Research - Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes - Cardiovascular Disease


  • ISSN: 1542-6416