Comparison of serum and urine lead levels in opium addicts with healthy control group.Hum Exp Toxicol 2016; 35(8):861-5HE
Lead-contaminated opium is one of the new sources of lead exposure in our region. As far as the literature review is concerned, there are limited comparative studies about comparison of blood lead level (BLL) in addict patients with healthy controls.
We aimed to compare BLL and urine lead level (ULL) between opium addicts with the healthy control group.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Forty opium addict subjects (mean age: 43 ± 10 years) as the patient group and 40 healthy subjects (mean age: 41 ± 9 years) as the control group participated. Three milliliter of whole blood and urine was obtained from both groups and lead level was assessed using atomic absorption spectrophotometry.
The mean value of BLL in patient group was 7.14 ± 1.41 mcg/dL and that in the healthy control group was 5.42 ± 1.46 mcg/dL. The mean value of ULL was 2.62 ± 0.83 mcg/dL in the patient group and 2.50 ± 0.76 mcg/dL in the healthy control group.BLL was different in the two groups (p < 0.001), but ULL was not (p = 0.5). There was a significant correlation between BLL with duration of opium addiction in the patient group (r = -0.403, p = 0.01). BLL and ULL were significantly correlated in controls (r = 0.436, p = 0.005) and not in patients.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
It was observed that the BLL in opium addicts was significantly higher than that in the healthy control group. This can be due to use of adulterated opium with lead. Therefore, screening of blood lead concentration is helpful for opium-addict patients especially with nonspecific symptoms.