Ethnic, geographic and dietary differences in arsenic exposure in the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA)
Differences in residential location as well as race/ethnicity and dietary habits may result in differences in inorganic arsenic (iAs) exposure. We investigated the association of exposure to iAs with race/ethnicity, geography, and dietary intake in a random sample of 310 White, Black, Hispanic, and Chinese adults in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis from 6 US cities with inorganic and methylated arsenic (ΣAs) measured in urine. Dietary intake was assessed by food-frequency questionnaire. Chinese and Hispanic race/ethnicity was associated with 82% (95% CI: 46%, 126%) and 37% (95% CI: 10%, 70%) higher urine arsenic concentrations, respectively, compared to White participants. No differences were observed for Black participants compared to Whites. Urine arsenic concentrations were higher for participants in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York compared to other sites. Participants that ate rice ≥2 times/week had 31% higher urine arsenic compared to those that rarely/never consumed rice. Participants that drank wine ≥2 times/week had 23% higher urine arsenic compared to rare/never wine drinkers. Intake of poultry or non-rice grains was not associated with urinary arsenic concentrations. At the low-moderate levels typical of the US population, exposure to iAs differed by race/ethnicity, geographic location, and frequency of rice and wine intake.