Objective: The paper describes the results of a polycentric study for the assessment of reference values of urinary chromium (U-Cr) in the Italian population. Method: A total of 890 subjects (58.3% males and 41.7% females) were selected on the basis of standardized criteria in eight different areas of Italy. Urinary chromium was determined on morning spot samples collected using standardized procedures. The U-Cr was determined independently by three laboratories using an Electrothermic atomization-Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (ETA-AAS) method with a detection limit of 0.05 mu g/l, adopting - for the statistical analysis - the median value of the results of the three laboratories. The between-laboratories within-subjects standard deviation was 0.049 mu g/l. Due to the high proportion (approx. 28%) of undetectable chromium levels, the geometric mean (GM) and geometric standard deviation (GSD) were estimated using a procedure of linear interpolation. The analysis of the effects of some variables (sex, age, center, residence, smoking and drinking habits) on the U-Cr values was also performed, by multiple regression analysis after logarithmic transformation, using GM and SD. Results: The reference value of U-Cr was of 0.08 mu g/l as an estimated GM, whereas the expected distribution ranged from not detectable (nd) (95% CI = nd-0.06) to 0.24 mu g/l (95th percentile; 95% CI = 0.20-0.31). Among the variables studied, only geographical area and sex significantly influenced the U-Cr levels. In subjects selected in the provinces of Bari and Venice values of U-Cr were significantly lower than those determined in subjects residing in other areas. Conclusions: From our investigation the reference values for U-Cr were lower than those obtained in previous investigations. In addition it confirms a further reduction in U-Cr levels following the previous decline reported in the 1970s and 1980s. In over 20 years U-Cr values in the general population dropped from values greater than 1 mu g/l to values between 0.5 and 0.2 mu g/l. The reasons of this progressive decline cannot be attributed in our opinion to a reduced intake of the metal, but mainly to the improvement in analytical instrumentation and methods. A further decrease may be ascribed to a more accurate definition of the reference groups and to a better control of pre-analytical factors. Considering that the reference values for U-Cr are much lower than those determined some decades ago, toxicological studies in order to verify the significance of biological limit values currently suggested for chromium seem to be necessary.
|Titolo:||Reference values of urinary chromium in Italy|
|Parole Chiave:||urinary chromium; reference values; polycentric study; biological monitoring|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore MED/01 - Statistica Medica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||1997|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1007/s004200050203|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|