Dietary intake of cadmium, chromium, copper, manganese, selenium and zinc in a Northern Italy community.

Filippini T, Cilloni S, Malavolti M, Violi F, Malagoli C, Tesauro M, Bottecchi I, Ferrari A, Vescovi L, Vinceti M.

J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2018 Mar 8. pii: S0946-672X(18)30041-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2018.03.00


This study provides the dietary intakes of six trace elements (cadmium, chromium, copper, manganese, selenium and zinc), generally characterized by both nutritional and toxicological features depending on their exposure. Being diet the most relevant source of exposure to trace elements in non-professionally exposed subjects, we measured content of these trace elements in foods composing the typical Italian diet using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry, and assessing dietary habits using a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire we eventually estimated dietary daily intake of trace elements in a Northern Italian community. In the 890 analyzed food samples, the main contributors to cadmium intake are cereals, vegetables and sweets, while cereals, beverages and vegetable are to primary source of manganese. The primary contributors for copper are cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables, while for chromium are beverages, cereals and meat. The main source of selenium intake are cereals and meat, followed by fish, seafood and milk and dairy products, while of zinc intake are meat, cereals, milk and dairy products. In our Italian population sample, the estimated median (interquartile range) dietary daily intakes are 5.00 (3.17-7.65), 56.70 (36.08-86.70) and 66.53 (40.04-101.32) μg/day for cadmium, chromium and selenium, and corresponding figures are 0.98 (0.61-1.49), 2.34 (1.46-3.52) and 8.50 (5.21-12.48) mg/day for copper, manganese and zinc. The estimated intakes are generally within the average intake reported in other European populations, and in such cases well above the daily dietary intakes recommended by national international agencies, avoiding the risk of excess or deficiency. The present estimated intake data can be used to examine a specific trace element of interest and would afford enhanced health protection from those trace elements characterized by both nutritional and toxicological effects.


Riluzole and other prognostic factors in ALS: a population-based registry study in Italy

Mandrioli J, Malerba SA, Beghi E, Fini N, Fasano A, Zucchi E, De Pasqua S, Guidi C, Terlizzi E, Sette E, Ravasio A, Casmiro M, Salvi F, Liguori R, Zinno L, Handouk Y, Rizzi R, Borghi A, Rinaldi R, Medici D, Santangelo M, Granieri E, Mussuto V, Aiello M, Ferro S, Vinceti M; ERRALS Group.

J Neurol. 2018 Feb 5. doi: 10.1007/s00415-018-8778-y.


OBJECTIVE: In this prospective population-based registry study on ALS survival, we investigated the role of riluzole treatment, together with other clinical factors, on the prognosis in incident ALS cases in Emilia Romagna Region (ERR), Italy.

METHODS: A registry for ALS has been collecting all incident cases in ERR since 2009. Detailed clinical data from all patients diagnosed with ALS between 1.1.2009 and 31.12.2014 have been analyzed for this study, with last follow up date set at 31.12.2015.

RESULTS: During the 6 years of the study, there were 681 incident cases with a median tracheostomy-free survival of 40 months (95% CI 36-44) from onset and of 26 months (95% CI 24-30) from diagnosis; 573 patients (84.14%) were treated with riluzole, 207 (30.39%) patients underwent gastrostomy, 246 (36.12%) non invasive ventilation, and 103 (15.15%) invasive ventilation. Patients who took treatment for ≥ 75% of disease duration from diagnosis had a median survival of 29 months compared to 18 months in patients with < 75% treatment duration. In multivariable analysis, factors independently influencing survival were age at onset (HR 1.04, 95% CI 1.02-1.05, p < 0.001), dementia (HR 1.56, 95% CI 1.05-2.32, p = 0.027), degree of diagnostic certainty (HR 0.88, 95% CI 0.78-0.98, p = 0.021), gastrostomy (HR 1.46, 95% CI 1.14-1.88, p = 0.003), NIV (HR 1.43, 95% CI 1.12-1.82, p = 0.004), and weight loss at diagnosis (HR 1.05, 95% CI 1.03-1.07, p < 0.001), diagnostic delay (HR 0.98, 95% CI 0.97-0.99, p = 0.004), and % treatment duration (HR 0.98, 95% CI 0.98-0.99, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Independently from other prognostic factors, patients who received riluzole for a longer period of time survived longer, but further population based studies are needed to verify if long-tem use of riluzole prolongs survival.

KEYWORDS: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Prognostic factors; Riluzole; Survival; Therapeutic intervention

Selenium for preventing cancer (Review)

Vinceti M, Filippini T, Del Giovane C, Dennert G, Zwahlen M, Brinkman M, Zeegers MPA, Horneber M, D'Amico R, Crespi CM

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2018, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD005195. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005195.pub4


Review question

We reviewed the evidence investigating the relation between selenium intake and cancer prevention. This review updates the most recent Cochrane review on this topic (Vinceti 2014), which was an update of Dennert 2011.


Air dispersion modelling for the evaluation of population exposure to pollutants emitted by complex areal sources

Costanzini S, Teggi S, Bigi A, Ghermandi G, Filippini T, Malagoli C, Nannini R, Vinceti M.

Atmosphere. 2018;9(2):38 doi: 10.3390/atmos9020038


This work originates from an epidemiological study aimed to assess the correlation between population exposure to pesticides used in agriculture and adverse health effects. In support of the population exposure evaluation two models implemented by the authors were applied: a GIS-based proximity model and the CAREA atmospheric dispersion model. In this work, the results of the two models are presented and compared. Despite the proximity analysis is widely used for these kinds of studies, it was investigated how meteorology could affect the exposure assessment. Both models were applied to pesticides emitted by 1519 agricultural fields and considering 2584 receptors distributed over an area of 8430 km2. CAREA output shows a considerable enhancement in the percentage of exposed receptors, from the 4% of the proximity model to the 54% of the CAREA model. Moreover, the spatial analysis of the results on a specific test site showed that the effects of meteorology considered by CAREA led to an anisotropic exposure distribution that differs considerably from the symmetric distribution resulting by the proximity model. In addition, the results of a field campaign for the definition and planning of ground measurement of concentration for the validation of CAREA are presented. The preliminary results showed how, during treatments, pesticide concentrations distant from the fields are significantly higher than background values.

Cadmium and atherosclerosis: A review of toxicological mechanisms and a meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies

Tinkov AA, Filippini T, Ajsuvakova OP, Skalnaya MG, Aaseth J, Bjørklund G, Gatiatulina ER, Popova EV, Nemereshina ON, Huang PT, Vinceti M, Skalny AV. 

Environ Res. 2018 Jan 19;162:240-260. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.01.008


Cadmium has been proposed to be the one of the factors of atherosclerosis development, although the existing data are still controversial. The primary objective of the present study is the review and the meta-analysis of studies demonstrating the association between Cd exposure and atherosclerosis as well as review of the potential mechanisms of such association. We performed a systematic search in the PubMed-Medline database using the MeSH terms cadmium, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, stroke, mortality and humans up through December 20, 2017. Elevated urinary Cd levels were associated with increased mortality for cardiovascular disease (HR = 1.34, 95% CI: 1.07-1.67) as well as elevated blood Cd levels (HR = 1.78, 95% CI: 1.24-2.56). Analysis restricted to never smokers showed similar, though more imprecise, results. Consistently, we also observed an association between Cd exposure markers (blood and urine) and coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. Moreover, Cd exposure was associated with atherogenic changes in lipid profile. High Cd exposure was associated with higher TC levels (OR = 1.48, 95% CI: 1.10-2.01), higher LDL-C levels (OR = 1.31, 95% CI 0.99-1.73) and lower HDL-C levels (OR = 1.96, 95% CI: 1.09-3.55). The mechanisms of atherogenic effect of cadmium may involve oxidative stress, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, enhanced lipid synthesis, up-regulation of adhesion molecules, prostanoid dysbalance, as well as altered glycosaminoglycan synthesis.