A Comparison of Blood-lead Level (BLL) in Opium-dependant Addicts With Healthy Control Group Using the Graphite Furnace/atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (GF-AAS) Followed by Chemometric Analysis.Iran Red Crescent Med J 2012; 14(8):488-91IR
A comparison of oral/inhaled opium addicts with a healthy control group was investigated. Using the graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy (GF-AAS) followed by chemometric analysis, sub-to-low µg L-1 concentrations of blood lead level (BLL) was detected in both the addict and the control groups.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
In this study, BLL of 78 subjects (Iranian volunteers) in two opium-addicted (patient group) and healthy control groups was evaluated. All the volunteers were men. The patient group was comprised of 39 patients who used opium orally or by inhalation with a mean age of 48.6 ± 7.3 years. The patient group was selected through systematic incidental sampling from 150 orally or by inhalation opium-addicted patients referred to Shariati Hospital located in Tehran .The control group (39 subjects) was matched with the patient group with regard to age and sex and with a mean age of 44.8 ± 5.6 years.
The mean concentration of lead was found to be significantly lower (P = 0.0001) in control group (16.70 ± 12.51 μg/dL) compared to addicts (57.04 ± 46.03 μg/dL). When the addicts were divided into various age groups, there appeared to be a significant difference (p= 0.0451) in blood lead concentration as a function of age, however when the control group was considered, no difference was observed (P = 0.51). Also, a tendency (P = 0.048) towards increasing BLL with respect to BMI was observed due to drug consumption, but there was no significant variation between BLL concentration and BMI when the control group was considered (P = 0.35).
It was observed that the BLL in opium-addicts was significantly higher than that of the healthy control group. The mean difference of both groups was statistically significant.