Endometriosis is an inflammatory disease associated with multiple pathogenic factors and studies regarding roles of trace metals in endometriosis have been inconsistent and limited. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to compare the blood levels of miscellaneous trace metals measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in infertile women with and without endometriosis. Zinc level is associated with declining odds (adjusted OR = 0.39, 95% CI = 0.18–0.88) of endometriosis. By contrast, lead level is associated with increasing odds (adjusted OR = 2.59, 95% CI = 1.11–6.06) of endometriosis. The cadmium levels were higher in women with endometriosis, but the aOR was not significant. Zinc has anti-inflammatory characteristics and regulates homeostasis of zinc-containing superoxide dismutase. High lead levels might induce reactive oxygen species and deplete antioxidant defense mechanisms. Further prospective study is needed to test for their causal associations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalReproductive Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Cross-sectional study
  • Endometriosis
  • Lead
  • Trace metals
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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