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Environ Res. 2002 May;89(1):72-84.

Trace elements in blood and serum of Swedish adolescents: relation to gender, age, residential area, and socioeconomic status.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, BMC, SE-751 23 Uppsala, Sweden.


The influence of gender, age, residential area, and socioeconomic status on the blood and serum levels of 13 trace elements was studied in boys and girls living in two Swedish cities with different socioeconomic and environmental characters. The same groups of adolescents were sampled twice, at ages 15 (n=372) and 17 (n=294) years. All the investigated factors were shown to be of importance. Age was important for most elements; e.g., copper levels in both blood and serum increased in girls, and selenium increased in serum from both genders. Lead decreased approximately 10% in blood from the first to the second sampling, and cadmium increased in blood, however not in nonsmokers. The age factor may also reflect temporal changes in environmental exposure, especially for nonessential elements. Girls had higher levels of cobalt and copper, while lead in blood was higher in boys. Smoking girls had higher copper levels than nonsmoking girls. Residential area influenced all elements. The teenagers with university-educated mothers had higher levels of cadmium in blood than those with only primary school-educated mothers.

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