Blood lead and hemoglobin levels in Andean children with chronic lead intoxication.Neurotoxicology. 2000 Jun; 21(3):301-8.N
This study investigated blood lead (PbB) and hemoglobin (HbB) levels in 88 children (42 females and 46 males; ages: 2-15 years; mean age: 7.2) with chronic Pb exposure, living in a highly Pb-contaminated Andean village at above 2800 meters. The mean PbB level for 88 venous blood samples was 43.2 microg/dl (SD: 25.1; range: 6.2 - 128.2 microg/dl) measured by ICP-MS, and 42.0 microg/dl (SD: 26.0; range: 5.0 - 130.0 microg/dl) by GFAAS analysis. The mean PbB level for the 42 females was 41.0 microg/dl and for 46 males, 45.0 microg/dl. Multiple regression analysis showed a significant gender by age interaction (R2 = 0.099; F = 4.173, p = 0.044), indicating a relationship between age and PbB level for males, but not for females. Simple regression analysis showed a statistically significant positive correlation between PbB levels and age for males (r = 0.416, p = 0.004), but not for females (r = -0.042, p = .793). The measured mean HbB level for the 88 children was 12.6 g/dl (12.5 g/dl for females and 12.8 g/dl for males) and lower than expected for children living in the Ecuadorian Andes. The mean altitude-corrected HbB level was 10.9 g/dl (10.8 g/dl for females and 11.1 g/dl for males). A significant inverse correlation between PbB and HbB levels was observed for the group of 88 children (r = -0.292, p = 0.006). Multiple regression analyses indicated no significant age and gender interaction (R2 = 0.014; F = 0.025, p = 0.876) for HbB levels. In conclusion, the results of this investigation indicate that the children in this Pb-contaminated, high altitude study area had chronic elevated PbB levels, which increased with age for males, and probable Pb-induced anemia.