|ARSENIC IN WATER LINKED WITH DIABETES|
August 20, 2008 Journal American Medical Association
A new analysis of government data links low-level arsenic exposure, possibly from drinking water, with Type 2 diabetes, researchers say. This result comes after the Bush administration lobbied to allow higher amounts of arsenic in drinking water.
The analysis of 788 adults' medical tests found a nearly 400% increase in the risk of diabetes in people with low arsenic concentrations in their urine compared to people with even lower levels. Previous research outside the United States has linked high levels of arsenic in drinking water with diabetes. This study is noteworthy for the low levels of arsenic associated with diabetes.
Arsenic is an industrial pollutant from coal burning and copper smelting. It also is a component in many common pesticides. Seafood also contains arsenic. The researchers adjusted their analysis for signs of seafood intake and found that people with Type 2 diabetes had 26% higher arsenic levels than people without Type 2 diabetes. Prior studies have found impaired insulin secretion in pancreas cells treated with an arsenic compound.
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