The objective of this study was to examine multiple risk factors and correlated malignant neoplasms of blackfoot disease (BFD), a unique peripheral vascular disease related to continuous exposure to high-arsenic artesian well water. A total of 241 BFD cases, including 169 with spontaneous or surgical amputations of affected extremities, and 759 age-sex-residence-matched healthy community controls were studied to explore the risk factors of BFD. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that artesian well water consumption, arsenic poisoning, familial history of BFD, and undernourishment were significantly associated with the development of BFD. The lift-table method used to analyze cancer mortality of 789 BFD patients followed for 15 years showed a significantly higher mortality from cardiovascular diseases, peripheral vascular diseases, and cancers of bladder, skin, lung, and liver among BFD patients as compared with the general population in Taiwan or residents in the BFD-endemic area. The results imply the atherogenicity and carcinogenicity of the artesian well water in the BFD-endemic area.
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