Associations between metabolic syndrome and four heavy metals: A systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Xu P.
  • Liu A.
  • Li F.
  • Tinkov A.A.
  • Liu L.
  • Zhou J.C.
Дата публикации:15.03.2021
Журнал: Environmental Pollution
БД: Scopus
Ссылка: Scopus


© 2021 Elsevier Ltd Four most concerned heavy metal pollutants, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury may share common mechanisms to induce metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, recent studies exploring the relationships between MetS and metal exposure presented inconsistent findings. We aimed to clarify the relationship between heavy metal exposure biomarkers and MetS using a meta-analysis and systematic review approach. Literature search was conducted in international and the Chinese national databases up to June 2020. Of selected studies, we extracted the relevant data and evaluated the quality of each study's methodology. We then calculated the pooled effect sizes (ESs), standardized mean differences (SMDs), and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using a random-effect meta-analysis approach followed by stratification analyses for control of potential confounders. Involving 55,536 participants, the included 22 articles covered 52 observational studies reporting ESs and/or metal concentrations on specific metal and gender. Our results show that participants with MetS had significantly higher levels of heavy metal exposure [pooled ES = 1.16, 95% CI: 1.09, 1.23; n = 42, heterogeneity I2 = 75.6%; and SMD = 0.22, 95% CI: 0.15, 0.29; n = 32, I2 = 94.2%] than those without MetS. Pooled ESs in the subgroups stratified by arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury were 1.04 (95% CI: 0.97, 1.10; n = 8, I2 = 61.0%), 1.10 (0.95, 1.27; 11, 45.0%), 1.21 (1.00, 1.48; 12, 82.9%), and 1.26 (1.06, 1.48; 11, 67.7%), respectively. Pooled ESs in the subgroups stratified by blood, urine, and the other specimen were 1.22 (95% CI: 1.08, 1.38; n = 26, I2 = 75.8%), 1.06 (1.00, 1.13; 14, 58.1%), and 2.41 (1.30, 4.43; 2, 0.0%), respectively. In conclusion, heavy metal exposure was positively associated with MetS. Further studies are warranted to examine the effects of individual metals and their interaction on the relationship between MetS and heavy metals. The exposure to heavy metals was positively associated with the prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Exposures to lead and mercury had a stronger association with the risk of metabolic syndrome.

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