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Port Pirie Cohort Study: environmental exposure to lead and children's abilities at the age of four years.
N Engl J Med. 1988 Aug 25; 319(8):468-75.NEJM

Abstract

We studied the effect of environmental exposure to lead on children's abilities at the age of four years in a cohort of 537 children born during 1979 to 1982 to women living in a community situated near a lead smelter. Samples for measuring blood lead levels were obtained from the mothers antenatally, at delivery from the mothers and umbilical cords, and at the ages of 6, 15, and 24 months and then annually from the children. Concurrently, the mothers were interviewed about personal, family, medical, and environmental factors. Maternal intelligence, the home environment, and the children's mental development (as evaluated with use of the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities) were formally assessed. The mean blood lead concentration varied from 0.44 mumol per liter in midpregnancy to a peak of 1.03 mumol per liter at the age of two years. The blood lead concentration at each age, particularly at two and three years, and the integrated postnatal average concentration were inversely related to development at the age of four. Multivariate analysis incorporating many factors in the children's lives indicated that the subjects with an average postnatal blood lead concentration of 1.50 mumol per liter had a general cognitive score 7.2 points lower (95 percent confidence interval, 0.3 to 13.2; mean score, 107.1) than those with an average concentration of 0.50 mumol per liter. Similar deficits occurred in the perceptual-performance and memory scores. Within the range of exposure studied, no threshold dose for an effect of lead was evident. We conclude that postnatal blood lead concentration is inversely related to cognitive development in children, although one must be circumspect in making causal inferences from studies of this relation, because of the difficulties in defining and controlling confounding effects.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Community Medicine, University of Adelaide, South Australia.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

3405253

Citation

McMichael, A J., et al. "Port Pirie Cohort Study: Environmental Exposure to Lead and Children's Abilities at the Age of Four Years." The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 319, no. 8, 1988, pp. 468-75.
McMichael AJ, Baghurst PA, Wigg NR, et al. Port Pirie Cohort Study: environmental exposure to lead and children's abilities at the age of four years. N Engl J Med. 1988;319(8):468-75.
McMichael, A. J., Baghurst, P. A., Wigg, N. R., Vimpani, G. V., Robertson, E. F., & Roberts, R. J. (1988). Port Pirie Cohort Study: environmental exposure to lead and children's abilities at the age of four years. The New England Journal of Medicine, 319(8), 468-75.
McMichael AJ, et al. Port Pirie Cohort Study: Environmental Exposure to Lead and Children's Abilities at the Age of Four Years. N Engl J Med. 1988 Aug 25;319(8):468-75. PubMed PMID: 3405253.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Port Pirie Cohort Study: environmental exposure to lead and children's abilities at the age of four years. AU - McMichael,A J, AU - Baghurst,P A, AU - Wigg,N R, AU - Vimpani,G V, AU - Robertson,E F, AU - Roberts,R J, PY - 1988/8/25/pubmed PY - 1988/8/25/medline PY - 1988/8/25/entrez SP - 468 EP - 75 JF - The New England journal of medicine JO - N Engl J Med VL - 319 IS - 8 N2 - We studied the effect of environmental exposure to lead on children's abilities at the age of four years in a cohort of 537 children born during 1979 to 1982 to women living in a community situated near a lead smelter. Samples for measuring blood lead levels were obtained from the mothers antenatally, at delivery from the mothers and umbilical cords, and at the ages of 6, 15, and 24 months and then annually from the children. Concurrently, the mothers were interviewed about personal, family, medical, and environmental factors. Maternal intelligence, the home environment, and the children's mental development (as evaluated with use of the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities) were formally assessed. The mean blood lead concentration varied from 0.44 mumol per liter in midpregnancy to a peak of 1.03 mumol per liter at the age of two years. The blood lead concentration at each age, particularly at two and three years, and the integrated postnatal average concentration were inversely related to development at the age of four. Multivariate analysis incorporating many factors in the children's lives indicated that the subjects with an average postnatal blood lead concentration of 1.50 mumol per liter had a general cognitive score 7.2 points lower (95 percent confidence interval, 0.3 to 13.2; mean score, 107.1) than those with an average concentration of 0.50 mumol per liter. Similar deficits occurred in the perceptual-performance and memory scores. Within the range of exposure studied, no threshold dose for an effect of lead was evident. We conclude that postnatal blood lead concentration is inversely related to cognitive development in children, although one must be circumspect in making causal inferences from studies of this relation, because of the difficulties in defining and controlling confounding effects. SN - 0028-4793 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/3405253/Port_Pirie_Cohort_Study:_environmental_exposure_to_lead_and_children's_abilities_at_the_age_of_four_years_ L2 - https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJM198808253190803?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -