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Environ Health Perspect. 1990 Nov;89:35-42.

Lead effects on postural balance of children.

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Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, OH 45267-0056.


The postural sway responses of 63 children with a mean age of 5.74 years were quantified with a Force Platform technique. The average maximum (max) blood lead (PbB) of these children during the first 5 years of life was 20.7 micrograms/dL (range 9.2 to 32.5). The backward stepwise regression analysis for sway area response during the eyes-closed, no-foam test with all the covariates and confounders and the PbB parameters showed a significant relationship with peak or max PbB during the second year of life. These results are consistent with our previous study with a smaller group of children. The data have been analyzed to provide some insight into the role of various afferent for the maintenance of postural balance. The results suggests a hypothesis that if the max PbB had caused some level of impairment in the functional capacities or interconnectivity of the vestibular and/or proprioception systems at 2 years of age, then it is reasonable to assume that the redundancy in the postural afferent systems would naturally adapt to rely more on the remaining intact afferent system (in this case, vision).

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