Several studies have shown that elevated blood lead (Pb) levels in children are associated with decreased growth. Among 139 children aged 1 to 10 years (66 male, 73 female) who attended a Pb clinic in Dallas, Texas, growth was decreased by 1.6 cm in height, 1.4 kg in weight, and 0.6 cm in head circumference for each 10 μg/dl increase in blood Pb. Consistent with previously reported effects of Pb, several clinical symptoms (hearing deficit, dental problems, hyperactivity) were increased in frequency among children with high blood Pb levels (X̄Pb = 34.6 μg/dl ± 5.6) compared to the children in the low Pb level group (X̄Pb = 11.9 μg/dl ± 3.3). Interestingly, pica was significantly increased in frequency among children in the high Pb group, indicating oral consumption of non‐food matter was a major source of Pb intoxication. These results suggest that increased Pb level is an important risk factor for growth deficits in children.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics