Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You and Your Team.

Learn More →

Lead Exposure and Chronic Renal Failure

Lead Exposure and Chronic Renal Failure The interesting article by Hirschmann et al, titled “Death of an Arabian Jew,”1 brought back fond memories of a sabbatical spent in Israel in 1974. While working as a volunteer at several archeological digs, I had the opportunity to read Josephus, and came upon the description of Herod’s life and death. As a nephrologist, I found it easy to be persuaded at that time that he died of chronic renal failure and was surprised to find that no book in the medical library indicated this. Given the fact that Herod was a very wealthy man and a leader in the Roman Empire, I came up with a possible cause that was not mentioned in the article by Hirschmann et al.1 There had been substantial speculation over the years that exposure to lead contributed to the downfall of the Roman Empire.2-7 Apparently, only the wealthy could afford the wines that contained lead as a preservative, and the exposure to lead could be substantial.1-6 The problem of environmental lead exposure and progression of chronic renal disease exists to this day.8 Not only could lead exposure account for the chronic renal failure, it could also have contributed to the central nervous system and gastrointestinal expression of Herod’s illness. Modern methods for detecting lead in bone will make it possible to close this fascinating story when and if Herod’s remains can be found. As pointed out by Hirschmann et al,1 we know where to look. Correspondence: Dr Hollenberg, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 75 Francis St, Boston, MA 02115 (djpagecapo@rics.bwh.harvard.edu). References 1. Hirschmann JVRichardson PKramer RSMackowiak PA Death of an Arabian Jew. Arch Intern Med 2004;164833- 839PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref 2. Singhal RLThomas JA Lead Toxicity. Baltimore, Md Urban & Schwarzenberg Inc1980; 3. Nriagu JO Lead & Lead Poisoning in Antiquity. New York, NY John Wiley & Sons Inc1983; 4. Wedeen RP Poison in the Pot: The Legacy of Lead. Carbondale Southern Illinois University Press1984; 5. Lansdown RYule W Lead Toxicity: History and Environmental Impact. Baltimore, Md Johns Hopkins University Press1986; 6. Lynam DRPiantanida LGCole JF Environmental Lead. London, England Academic Press Inc1981; 7. Nriagu JO A history of global metal pollution. Science 1996;272223- 224Google ScholarCrossref 8. Marsden PA Increased body lead burden—cause or consequence of chronic renal insufficiency? N Engl J Med 2003;348345- 347PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of Internal Medicine American Medical Association

Lead Exposure and Chronic Renal Failure

Archives of Internal Medicine , Volume 164 (22) – Dec 13, 2004

Loading next page...
 
/lp/american-medical-association/lead-exposure-and-chronic-renal-failure-FQudx15Ef0
Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-9926
eISSN
1538-3679
DOI
10.1001/archinte.164.22.2507-a
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The interesting article by Hirschmann et al, titled “Death of an Arabian Jew,”1 brought back fond memories of a sabbatical spent in Israel in 1974. While working as a volunteer at several archeological digs, I had the opportunity to read Josephus, and came upon the description of Herod’s life and death. As a nephrologist, I found it easy to be persuaded at that time that he died of chronic renal failure and was surprised to find that no book in the medical library indicated this. Given the fact that Herod was a very wealthy man and a leader in the Roman Empire, I came up with a possible cause that was not mentioned in the article by Hirschmann et al.1 There had been substantial speculation over the years that exposure to lead contributed to the downfall of the Roman Empire.2-7 Apparently, only the wealthy could afford the wines that contained lead as a preservative, and the exposure to lead could be substantial.1-6 The problem of environmental lead exposure and progression of chronic renal disease exists to this day.8 Not only could lead exposure account for the chronic renal failure, it could also have contributed to the central nervous system and gastrointestinal expression of Herod’s illness. Modern methods for detecting lead in bone will make it possible to close this fascinating story when and if Herod’s remains can be found. As pointed out by Hirschmann et al,1 we know where to look. Correspondence: Dr Hollenberg, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 75 Francis St, Boston, MA 02115 (djpagecapo@rics.bwh.harvard.edu). References 1. Hirschmann JVRichardson PKramer RSMackowiak PA Death of an Arabian Jew. Arch Intern Med 2004;164833- 839PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref 2. Singhal RLThomas JA Lead Toxicity. Baltimore, Md Urban & Schwarzenberg Inc1980; 3. Nriagu JO Lead & Lead Poisoning in Antiquity. New York, NY John Wiley & Sons Inc1983; 4. Wedeen RP Poison in the Pot: The Legacy of Lead. Carbondale Southern Illinois University Press1984; 5. Lansdown RYule W Lead Toxicity: History and Environmental Impact. Baltimore, Md Johns Hopkins University Press1986; 6. Lynam DRPiantanida LGCole JF Environmental Lead. London, England Academic Press Inc1981; 7. Nriagu JO A history of global metal pollution. Science 1996;272223- 224Google ScholarCrossref 8. Marsden PA Increased body lead burden—cause or consequence of chronic renal insufficiency? N Engl J Med 2003;348345- 347PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref

Journal

Archives of Internal MedicineAmerican Medical Association

Published: Dec 13, 2004

Keywords: kidney failure, chronic,lead poisoning

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$499/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month