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Comparison of serum lead level in oral opium addicts with healthy control group.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Drug abuse and its consequences are major health problems in Middle-East countries such as Iran. Salesmen and smugglers may add lead to opium during the process of opium preparation to increase the weight of opium for more profit. Several reports have found lead poisoning symptoms in opium addicted patients and there are many nonspecific symptoms mimicking lead poisoning in opium addicted patients. As far as the literature review is concerned, there is no comparative study about blood lead level (BLL) in addicted patients with healthy controls. Therefore, it seems evaluation of blood lead level in opium addicted patients to be important.

METHODS

In this study, the BLL of forty-four subjects in two patient and control groups was evaluated. The patient group (22 subjects) was comprised of patients who used oral opium. Control group (22 subjects) was matched with the patient group for age and sex, considering inclusion and exclusion criteria with a mean age of 38.8+/-6.7. For blood lead assay, 3 mL of whole blood was obtained from both groups by venipuncture and BLL was assessed immediately using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer.

RESULTS

The BLL in patient group had a range of 7.2 to 69.9 g/dL with a mean of 21.9+/-13.2. In the healthy control group, BLL was between 4.1 to 17.4 g/dL with a mean of 8.6+/-3.5. The mean difference of both groups (t=4.56) was statistically significant (P<0.0001). In the patient group, BLL had a significant correlation with the amount of opium ingested (r=0.65, P<0.01). However, there was no significant correlation with duration of opium ingestion in the patient group.

CONCLUSION

It would be concluded that opium addicts have an elevated BLL compared to healthy controls. Therefore, screening of blood lead concentration is helpful for opium addicted people especially with non-specific symptoms. In this regard, a similar investigation with a larger sample size of opium addicted patients (including both oral and inhaled) and a control group is suggested to confirm the findings of this research.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Department of Surgery, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. dr_hosseinsalehi@yahoo.com

    , , , , ,

    Source

    Archives of Iranian medicine 12:6 2009 Nov pg 555-8

    MeSH

    Adult
    Female
    Humans
    Lead
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Opioid-Related Disorders
    Opium

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    19877747

    Citation

    Salehi, Hossein, et al. "Comparison of Serum Lead Level in Oral Opium Addicts With Healthy Control Group." Archives of Iranian Medicine, vol. 12, no. 6, 2009, pp. 555-8.
    Salehi H, Sayadi AR, Tashakori M, et al. Comparison of serum lead level in oral opium addicts with healthy control group. Arch Iran Med. 2009;12(6):555-8.
    Salehi, H., Sayadi, A. R., Tashakori, M., Yazdandoost, R., Soltanpoor, N., Sadeghi, H., & Aghaee-Afshar, M. (2009). Comparison of serum lead level in oral opium addicts with healthy control group. Archives of Iranian Medicine, 12(6), pp. 555-8.
    Salehi H, et al. Comparison of Serum Lead Level in Oral Opium Addicts With Healthy Control Group. Arch Iran Med. 2009;12(6):555-8. PubMed PMID: 19877747.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Comparison of serum lead level in oral opium addicts with healthy control group. AU - Salehi,Hossein, AU - Sayadi,Ahmad Reza, AU - Tashakori,Mahnaz, AU - Yazdandoost,Rokhsareh, AU - Soltanpoor,Narges, AU - Sadeghi,Hossein, AU - Aghaee-Afshar,Mahmood, PY - 2009/11/3/entrez PY - 2009/11/3/pubmed PY - 2010/1/8/medline SP - 555 EP - 8 JF - Archives of Iranian medicine JO - Arch Iran Med VL - 12 IS - 6 N2 - BACKGROUND: Drug abuse and its consequences are major health problems in Middle-East countries such as Iran. Salesmen and smugglers may add lead to opium during the process of opium preparation to increase the weight of opium for more profit. Several reports have found lead poisoning symptoms in opium addicted patients and there are many nonspecific symptoms mimicking lead poisoning in opium addicted patients. As far as the literature review is concerned, there is no comparative study about blood lead level (BLL) in addicted patients with healthy controls. Therefore, it seems evaluation of blood lead level in opium addicted patients to be important. METHODS: In this study, the BLL of forty-four subjects in two patient and control groups was evaluated. The patient group (22 subjects) was comprised of patients who used oral opium. Control group (22 subjects) was matched with the patient group for age and sex, considering inclusion and exclusion criteria with a mean age of 38.8+/-6.7. For blood lead assay, 3 mL of whole blood was obtained from both groups by venipuncture and BLL was assessed immediately using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. RESULTS: The BLL in patient group had a range of 7.2 to 69.9 g/dL with a mean of 21.9+/-13.2. In the healthy control group, BLL was between 4.1 to 17.4 g/dL with a mean of 8.6+/-3.5. The mean difference of both groups (t=4.56) was statistically significant (P<0.0001). In the patient group, BLL had a significant correlation with the amount of opium ingested (r=0.65, P<0.01). However, there was no significant correlation with duration of opium ingestion in the patient group. CONCLUSION: It would be concluded that opium addicts have an elevated BLL compared to healthy controls. Therefore, screening of blood lead concentration is helpful for opium addicted people especially with non-specific symptoms. In this regard, a similar investigation with a larger sample size of opium addicted patients (including both oral and inhaled) and a control group is suggested to confirm the findings of this research. SN - 1735-3947 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19877747/Comparison_of_serum_lead_level_in_oral_opium_addicts_with_healthy_control_group_ L2 - http://www.ams.ac.ir/AIM/NEWPUB/09/12/6/006.pdf DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -