Early life and adolescent arsenic exposure from drinking water and blood pressure in adolescence

Yu Chen, Fen Wu, Xinhua Liu, Faruque Parvez, Nancy J. LoIacono, Elizabeth A. Gibson, Marianthi Anna Kioumourtzoglou, Diane Levy, Hasan Shahriar, Mohammed Nasir Uddin, Taruqul Islam, Angela Lomax, Roheeni Saxena, Tiffany Sanchez, David Santiago, Tyler Ellis, Habibul Ahsan, Gail A. Wasserman, Joseph H. Graziano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Evidence of the association between inorganic arsenic (As) exposure, especially early-life exposure, and blood pressure (BP) in adolescence is limited. We examined the association of As exposure during early childhood, childhood, and adolescence with BP in adolescence. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 726 adolescents aged 14–17 (mean 14.75) years whose mothers were participants in the Bangladesh Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study (HEALS). Adolescents' BP was measured at the time of their recruitment between December 2012 and December 2016. We considered maternal urinary As (UAs), repeatedly measured during childhood, as proxy measures of early childhood (<5 years old, A1) and childhood (5–12 years old, A2) exposure. Adolescents’ current UAs was collected at the time of recruitment (14–17 years of age, A3). Results: Every doubling of UAs at A3 and maternal UAs at A1 was positively associated with a difference of 0.7-mmHg (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.1, 1.3) and a 0.7-mmHg (95% CI: 0.05, 1.4) in SBP, respectively. These associations were stronger in adolescents with a BMI above the median (17.7 kg/m2) than those with a BMI below the median (P for interaction = 0.03 and 0.03, respectively). There was no significant association between any of the exposure measures and DBP. The Weighted Quantile Sum (WQS) regression confirmed that adolescents’ UAs at A3 and maternal UAs at A1 contributed the most to the overall effect of As exposure at three life stages on SBP. Mixture analyses using Bayesian Kernel Machine Regression identified UAs at A3 as a significant contributor to SBP and DBP independent of other concurrent blood levels of cadmium, lead, manganese, and selenium. Conclusion: Our findings suggest an association of current exposure and early childhood exposure to As with higher BP in adolescents, which may be exacerbated by higher BMI at adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108681
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Adolescence
  • Arsenic
  • Bangladesh
  • Blood pressure
  • Drinking water
  • Early-life exposure
  • Epidemiology
  • Blood Pressure/physiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Child, Preschool
  • Male
  • Environmental Exposure/statistics & numerical data
  • Drinking Water/chemistry
  • Adolescent
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Female
  • Arsenic/analysis
  • Child
  • Longitudinal Studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Biochemistry


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