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Blood Lead Concentrations and Children’s Behavioral and Emotional Problems

Blood Lead Concentrations and Children’s Behavioral and Emotional Problems ImportanceThe association between lead exposure and children’s IQ has been well studied, but few studies have examined the effects of blood lead concentrations on children’s behavior. ObjectiveTo evaluate the association between blood lead concentrations and behavioral problems in a community sample of Chinese preschool children with a mean blood lead concentration of less than 10 µg/dL. Design, Setting, and ParticipantsA prospective cohort study was conducted at 4 preschools in Jintan, Jiangsu province of China. Participants included 1341 children aged 3 to 5 years. ExposuresLead. Main Outcomes and MeasuresBlood lead concentrations were measured in children aged 3 to 5 years. Behavioral problems were assessed using Chinese versions of the Child Behavior Checklist and Caregiver-Teacher Report Form when children were aged 6 years. ResultsThe mean (SD) blood lead concentration was 6.4 (2.6) µg/dL, with the 75th and 90th percentiles being 7.5 and 9.4 µg/dL, respectively. General linear modeling showed significant associations between blood lead concentrations and increased scores for teacher-reported behavioral problems. A 1-µg/dL increase in the blood lead concentration resulted in a 0.322 (95% CI, 0.058 to 0.587), 0.253 (95% CI, 0.016 to 0.500), and 0.303 (95% CI, 0.046 to 0.560) increase of teacher-reported behavior scores on emotional reactivity, anxiety problems, and pervasive developmental problems, respectively (P < .05), with adjustment for parental and child variables. Spline modeling showed that mean teacher-reported behavior scores increased with blood lead concentrations, particularly for older girls. Conclusions and RelevanceBlood lead concentrations, even at a mean concentration of 6.4 µg/dL, were associated with increased risk of behavioral problems in Chinese preschool children, including internalizing and pervasive developmental problems. This association showed different patterns depending on age and sex. As such, continued monitoring of blood lead concentrations, as well as clinical assessments of mental behavior during regular pediatric visits, may be warranted. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA Pediatrics American Medical Association

Blood Lead Concentrations and Children’s Behavioral and Emotional Problems

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright 2014 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.
ISSN
2168-6203
eISSN
2168-6211
DOI
10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.332
pmid
25090293
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ImportanceThe association between lead exposure and children’s IQ has been well studied, but few studies have examined the effects of blood lead concentrations on children’s behavior. ObjectiveTo evaluate the association between blood lead concentrations and behavioral problems in a community sample of Chinese preschool children with a mean blood lead concentration of less than 10 µg/dL. Design, Setting, and ParticipantsA prospective cohort study was conducted at 4 preschools in Jintan, Jiangsu province of China. Participants included 1341 children aged 3 to 5 years. ExposuresLead. Main Outcomes and MeasuresBlood lead concentrations were measured in children aged 3 to 5 years. Behavioral problems were assessed using Chinese versions of the Child Behavior Checklist and Caregiver-Teacher Report Form when children were aged 6 years. ResultsThe mean (SD) blood lead concentration was 6.4 (2.6) µg/dL, with the 75th and 90th percentiles being 7.5 and 9.4 µg/dL, respectively. General linear modeling showed significant associations between blood lead concentrations and increased scores for teacher-reported behavioral problems. A 1-µg/dL increase in the blood lead concentration resulted in a 0.322 (95% CI, 0.058 to 0.587), 0.253 (95% CI, 0.016 to 0.500), and 0.303 (95% CI, 0.046 to 0.560) increase of teacher-reported behavior scores on emotional reactivity, anxiety problems, and pervasive developmental problems, respectively (P < .05), with adjustment for parental and child variables. Spline modeling showed that mean teacher-reported behavior scores increased with blood lead concentrations, particularly for older girls. Conclusions and RelevanceBlood lead concentrations, even at a mean concentration of 6.4 µg/dL, were associated with increased risk of behavioral problems in Chinese preschool children, including internalizing and pervasive developmental problems. This association showed different patterns depending on age and sex. As such, continued monitoring of blood lead concentrations, as well as clinical assessments of mental behavior during regular pediatric visits, may be warranted.

Journal

JAMA PediatricsAmerican Medical Association

Published: Aug 1, 2014

References