Int J Med Sci 2022; 19(2):331-337. doi:10.7150/ijms.68945 This issue

Research Paper

Associations and Interactions between Heavy Metals with White Blood Cell and Eosinophil Count

Chao-Hsin Huang1*, Chieh-Yu Hsieh2,3*, Chih-Wen Wang2,4, Hung-Pin Tu5, Szu-Chia Chen2,6,7,8✉, Chih-Hsing Hung8,9,10, Chao-Hung Kuo2,7,11

1. Department of post baccalaureate medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
2. Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Municipal Siaogang Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
3. Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
4. Division of Hepatobiliary, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
5. Department of Public Health and Environmental Medicine, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan
6. Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
7. Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
8. Research Center for Environmental Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
9. Department of Pediatrics, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
10. Department of Pediatrics, Kaohsiung Municipal Siaogang Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
11. Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
*Both are equal contributors.

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Citation:
Huang CH, Hsieh CY, Wang CW, Tu HP, Chen SC, Hung CH, Kuo CH. Associations and Interactions between Heavy Metals with White Blood Cell and Eosinophil Count. Int J Med Sci 2022; 19(2):331-337. doi:10.7150/ijms.68945. Available from https://www.medsci.org/v19p0331.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

The accumulation of heavy metals in the body has been associated with an elevated immune response. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations among heavy metals and white blood cell (WBC) and eosinophil count in the general population in southern Taiwan. We also explored the interactions and synergetic effects of heavy metals on WBC and eosinophil count. We conducted a health survey in the general population living in southern Taiwan between June 2016 and September 2018. Seven heavy metals were measured: blood lead (Pb), and urine cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), nickel, arsenic (As), chromium and manganese (Mn). A total of 2,447 participants were enrolled. In multivariable analysis, high concentrations of Pb (log per 1 mg/L; coefficient β, 0.332; p = 0.005) and Cu (log per 1 μg/dL; coefficient β, 0.476; p < 0.001) were significantly associated with a high WBC count. In addition, high concentrations of Pb (log per 1 mg/L; coefficient β, 0.732; p < 0.001), As (log per 1 μg/L; coefficient β, 0.133; p = 0.015), Cu (log per 1 μg/dL; coefficient β, 0.181; p = 0.018), and Cd (log per 1 μg/L; coefficient β, 0.139; p = 0.002) were significantly associated with a high eosinophil count. Further, the effect of interactions between Pb and As (coefficient β, 0.721; p = 0.029) and Mn and Cu (coefficient β, 0.482; p = 0.018) on WBC count, and As and Cu (unstandardized coefficient β, 0.558; p = 0.002) on eosinophil count were statistically significant. In conclusion, the heavy metals Pb, As, Cu, and Cd were associated with WBC and eosinophil count. In addition, synergistic effects of heavy metal poisoning on the association with WBC and eosinophil count were also observed.

Keywords: heavy metals, white blood cell, eosinophil count, interaction