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Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2012 Apr;31(4):296-302.

Lead exposure among children from native communities of the Peruvian Amazon basin.

Author information

1
Institutionen för Folkhälsa och Klinisk Medicin, Epidemiologi och Global Hälsa, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, Sweden. cynthiaanticona@hotmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess potential risk factors associated with elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) among children in two communities from the Corrientes River basin in the Peruvian Amazon.

METHODS:

Children aged 0-17 years were screened for BLLs, hemoglobin levels, and anthropometric measures. Dwelling, family, and child data were collected through a parental questionnaire. Statistical analysis included descriptive and bivariate analysis. Multiple linear and logistic regressions using generalized estimating equations were also conducted to determine associated risk factors. A map of each community was drawn to examine the spatial distribution of BLLs.

RESULTS:

Of 208 children (88 from 23 households of the Peruanito community and 120 from 28 households of Santa Isabel), 27.4% had BLLs > 10 µg/dL. The geometric mean (± standard deviation) BLL was 8.7 ± 4.0 µg/dL (range 3.0-26.8 µg/dL). In the total population, linear regression analysis indicated that age was positively associated with BLLs (P < 0.05). Logistic regression analysis showed that boys had 2.12 times greater odds of having BLLs > 10 µg/dL than girls (P < 0.05). Among the children 0-3 years, those whose mothers had BLLs > 10 µg/dL had 45.0% higher odds of presenting BLLs > 10 µg/dL than children whose mothers had BLLs < 10 µg/dL (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Older age, male gender, and mothers' BLL > 10 µg/dL were the main risk factors for elevated BLLs. The higher risk in boys 7-17 years suggests that exposure could be related to specific activities in this group, such as fishing and hunting. Continuous monitoring of BLLs in the Corrientes River population is recommended.

PMID:
22652969
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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