Metals and health

Research project

Short description

Our research is at present mainly focused on cadmium, lead, manganese, and to some extent mercury in the general population.

Cardiovascular and kidney disease

We collaborate with researchers from Malmö (prof Gunnar Engström) in studies regarding associations between cadmium exposure and the incidence of cardiovascular disease in a large cohort (Malmö Diet and Cancer cohort). We also investigate associations between lead exposure, hypertension, kidney disease, dementia, breast cancer and fracture risk.


In SCAPIS (Swedish CArdioPulmonary bioImage Study) we will investigate if cadmium or lead is associated with atherosclerosis in the coronary and carotid arteries of the heart in 5000 subjects from Gothenburg. In this project we collaborate with prof Göran Bergström.


We have set up a biobank for studies of diurnal variation and variability of different biomarkers (see section on Biomarkers). We now study 23 different elements in collaboration with STAMI, Norge (Dag Ellingsen), and in another project, together with department of Nutrition at Sahlgrenska Academy (Helena Filipsson Nyström), we will study iodine.

Kidney donors

We have analyzed heavy metals (Cd, Hg, and Pb) in kidney, blood, and urine of living kidney donors. The impact of various sources of these metals have been studied, as well as the associations between metal concentrations of cadmium and mercury in kidney, blood, and urine. A study of lead is ongoing.

Kidney and bone

Moreover the impact of metal concentrations on kidney and bone have been examined. In another study (Mr Os) the impact of cadmium on bone structure is ongoing. In this project we collaborate with Dan Mellström at Sahlgrenska Academy and the OEM department at Lund University (Thomas Lundh).

Welders and manganese exposure

The impact on neuropsychological functions among welders with current manganese exposure is investigated in an ongoing project. In this project we collaborate with Stockholm University (project leader Göran Lidén), Dept of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and MR Physics at Örebro University Hospital, and CMIV at Linköping University.