Socioeconomic status and risk for arsenic-related skin lesions in Bangladesh

Maria Argos, Faruque Parvez, Yu Chen, A. Z.M.Iftikhar Hussain, Hassina Momotaj, Geoffrey R. Howe, Joseph H. Graziano, Habibul Ahsan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives. Arsenic contamination of groundwater is a severe public health crisis in Bangladesh, where the population is exposed to arsenic in drinking water through tube wells used for groundwater collection. In this study, we explored the association between socioeconomic status and arsenic toxicity. Methods. We used baseline data from 11 438 men and women who were recruited into the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study (HEALS), a prospective cohort study on the health effects of arsenic exposure in Bangladesh. We conducted analyses with logistic regression and generalized estimating equations. Results. We found a strong dose-response association with all measures of arsenic exposure and skin lesions. We also found that the effect of arsenic was modified by land ownership on a multiplicative scale, with an increased risk among non-land owners associated with well water arsenic (P = .04) and urinary total arsenic concentrations (P = .03). Conclusions. Our study provides insight into potentially modifiable host characteristics and identifies factors that may effectively target susceptible population subgroups for appropriate interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)825-831
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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