Blood lead levels of 4-11-year-old Mexican American, Puerto Rican, and Cuban children.Public Health Rep. 1990 Jul-Aug; 105(4):388-93.PH
Data from the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used to estimate arithmetic mean blood lead and percent with elevated blood lead [25 micrograms per deciliter (micrograms per dl) or greater] for 4-11-year-old Mexican American, Puerto Rican, and Cuban children. The sample size was 1,390 for Mexican American children, 397 for Puerto Rican children, and 114 for Cuban children. Puerto Rican children had the highest mean blood lead levels (11.5 micrograms per dl), followed by Mexican American children (10.4 micrograms per dl) and Cuban children (8.6 micrograms per dl, P less than .05). Puerto Rican children had the highest percent with elevated blood lead (2.7 percent); 1.6 percent of Mexican American children had elevated blood lead; less than 1 percent (0.9 percent) of the Cuban children had elevated blood lead (P less than .05). Mexican American girls had a lower mean blood lead level than did boys: 9.7 micrograms per dl versus 11.0 micrograms per dl (P less than .05). For both Puerto Rican and Mexican American children, younger age indicated a higher risk of having elevated blood lead levels. Mexican American children who lived in poverty had higher mean blood lead levels than did Mexican American children who did not live in poverty--11.6 micrograms per dl versus 9.6 micrograms per dl (P less than .05). Despite advances in primary prevention of lead toxicity in children during the past 10 years, many Hispanic children are at risk of lead toxicity. Approximately 19,000 Mexican American 4-11-year-old children living in the Southwest and approximately 8,000 Puerto Rican children living in the New York City area had elevated blood lead levels (greater than or equal to 25 micrograms per dl) during 1982-84.