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Effect of Cadmium Body Burden on Immune Response of School Children 

he effects of cadmium (Cd) on measures of immune-system function were determined from health survey of school children in heavily polluted regions of eastern Germany. A representative sample of 842 students, aged 5-14 y, was included in logistic regression analyses in which the relationship between urinary Cd content and blood immunoglobulin levels was examined. Investigators further evaluated a subsample of 807 students to determine Cd's effect on immediate hypersensitivity reactions elicited by skin-pricks challenges with 12 common aeroallergens. Several potentially confounding factors were controlled for, after which investigators found that increasing body burden of Cd were associated consistently with dose-dependent suppression of immediate hypersensitivity and of immunoglobulin G, but not immunoglobulin M, A, or E levels. The immunoglobulin pattern observed in exposed children led investigators to suggest that Cd impaired secondary humoral responses.

B Ritz, C Krause Arch Environ Health 1998;53:272-280

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