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J Occup Environ Med. 2006 May;48(5):489-96.

Comparison of patella lead with blood lead and tibia lead and their associations with neurobehavioral test scores.

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  • 1Division of Occupational and Environmental Health, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.



Lead exposure in adults is associated with worse cognitive function in cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Previous studies have mainly examined relations with blood lead or cortical bone lead; few have examined trabecular bone lead.


We performed a cross-sectional analysis of the relations of patella lead and other lead biomarkers with measures of neurobehavioral and peripheral nervous system function in 652 lead workers.


Patella lead was found to be associated with worse performance on seven of 19 tests of manual dexterity, sensory vibration threshold, and depressive symptoms. The associations of patella lead with cognitive function were essentially similar to those with blood lead or tibia lead but of somewhat lower magnitude.


In this study, measurement of patella lead did not aid causal inference regarding cognitive effects when compared with blood lead and tibia lead.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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