Previous studies have shown that environmental exposure to heavy metals has been related to epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation in receptors involved in pathogenesis of asthma. One of these receptors is beta-2 adrenergic receptor (). We conducted this study to examine the association between blood aluminum concentration, blood 5′ untranslated region (5′-UTR) methylation level, and childhood asthma control level. Our results showed a significant positive association between high blood aluminum concentration (odds ratio, 16, 95% confidence interval (CI) [3.57 to 71.76], < 0.001) and high blood 5'-UTR methylation level (odds ratio, 4.75, 95% CI [1.39 to 16.2], = 0.013), and risk of uncontrolled asthma. Multivariable logistic regression revealed that higher blood aluminum concentration was independently associated with increased risk of uncontrolled bronchial asthma (odds ratio, 9.10, 95% CI [2.38 to 34.85], = 0.0013], after controlling for age, sex, and blood 5'-UTR methylation level. In addition, blood 5'-UTR methylation level significantly correlated with whole blood aluminum concentration in asthmatic children ( = 0.480, < 0.001). We concluded that increasing blood aluminum concentration is an important independent correlate of risk for uncontrolled bronchial asthma as well as increased blood aluminum concentration caused 5'-UTR hyper-methylation with increasing risk of uncontrolled bronchial asthma.

References

PubMed