Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 18, pp 18247–18255 | Cite as

Association of urinary acrylamide concentration with lifestyle and demographic factors in a population of South Korean children and adolescents

  • Soo Yeon Choi
  • Ahra Ko
  • Hui-Seung KangEmail author
  • Myung-Sil Hwang
  • Hee-Seok LeeEmail author
Research Article


Acrylamide (AA) has been identified as probably carcinogenic to humans and thus represents a potential public health threat. This study aimed to determine the urinary concentrations of AA and N-acetyl-S-(2-carbamoylethyl)-l-cysteine (AAMA) in a nationally representative sample (n = 1025) of children and adolescents (age range 3–18 years) in South Korea. The AA and AAMA detection rates and geometric mean concentrations were 97%, 19.1 ng/mL, and 98.7%, 26.4 ng/mL, respectively. Although urinary AA levels did not vary widely by age (17.2 ng/mL at 3–6 years, 19.9 ng/mL at 7–18 years), the urinary concentration of AAMA increased with age (18.3 ng/mL at 3–6 years, 30.4 ng/mL at 7–18 years). A multiple linear regression analysis revealed that the urinary levels of AA and AAMA varied significantly by sex, with the adjusted proportional changes indicating rates of 1.47- to 1.48-fold higher at 3–6 years and 1.36- to 1.68-fold higher at 7–18 years among males relative to females. Furthermore, the urinary levels of AA and AAMA correlated with the consumption of certain foods (doughnuts, hotdogs, popcorn, and nachos) among male subjects aged 7–18 years. The urinary concentrations of AA and AAMA increased significantly with the smoking status and passive smoking exposure, with adjusted proportional changes of 1.51 to 1.71-fold higher among smokers relative to non-smokers in the age range of 7–18 years. Exposure to smoking for > 30 min led to adjusted proportional increases in AA and AAMA of 1.51 and 1.77 times in the non-smoking group aged 3–6 years and a 1.52-fold increase in AAMA in the non-smoking group aged 7–18 years. In conclusion, the urinary levels of AA and AAMA were found to associate with age, sex, smoking, and food consumption in a population of Korean children and adolescents.


Acrylamide N-acetyl-S-(2-carbamoylethyl)-cysteine Urine Demographic Smoking Food consumption 


Funding information

This study was supported by a grant (no. 11161MFDS723) from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety in 2011.

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was approved by the Asan Medical Center (Seoul, Korea) Human Research Ethics Committee. All participants provided written informed consent in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration prior to data collection.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pesticide and Veterinary Drugs Residue DivisionNational Institute of Food and Drug Safety EvaluationCheongjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Food Safety Risk Assessment DivisionNational Institute of Food and Drug Safety EvaluationCheongjuRepublic of Korea

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