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Pediatrics. 2006 Jan;117(1):147-53.

A randomized, community-based trial of home visiting to reduce blood lead levels in children.

Author information

  • 1Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch, Division of Emergency and Environmental Health Services, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. mjb5@cdc.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study was to measure the effectiveness of intensive case management to reduce blood lead levels (BLLs) in children. Lead poisoning remains a common, preventable pediatric condition despite advances in reducing children's BLLs in the United States. Substantial evidence implicates lead paint-contaminated house dust as the most common high-dose source of lead in children's environments. Housekeeping and parental supervision also may contribute to risk for lead exposure.

METHODS:

We conducted a community-based, randomized trial of comprehensive education and home visiting for families of children with BLLs 15 to 19 microg/dL. BLLs after 1 year of follow-up were compared for intervention group children, whose families received individualized education that was designed to address specific risks factors in a child's environment, and comparison group children, whose families received customary care, usually 1 or 2 educational visits. Environmental samples were collected at baseline and after 1 year of follow-up for intervention group children and compared with those of comparison group children, collected only at the end of study.

RESULTS:

During the follow-up period, parents of intervention group children (n = 92) successfully decreased dust lead levels and significantly improved parent-child interaction and family housekeeping practices compared with comparison group children (n = 83). Overall geometric mean BLLs declined by 47%, and the difference in BLL by group was not significant (9 vs 8.3 microg/dL for intervention versus comparison group children, respectively.) After 1 year, nearly half of enrolled children had BLLs > or = 10 microg/dL.

CONCLUSIONS:

Until a reservoir of lead-safe housing is created, programs that educate families to reduce environmental exposure are needed. Although providing families with quantitative information regarding lead contamination may have a role in short-term efforts to prevent lead exposure, these null findings suggest that it has little benefit once BLLs are elevated.

PMID:
16396872
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2004-2880
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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