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J UOEH. 2014 Sep 1;36(3):159-70.

Towards prenatal biomonitoring in eastern Nigeria: assessing lead levels and anthropometric parameters of newborns.

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Faculty of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria.


The purpose of this study is to measure maternal blood lead level (BLL) and cord BLL in Nigeria and to compare Nigerian data with other data. We investigated the association among maternal and cord BLLs, and some anthropometric parameters of their babies. BLL was measured in the umbilical and maternal blood samples (using inductively coupled plasma / mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)) of 119 women who delivered at three different hospitals in Nnewi, South Eastern Nigeria. Anthropometric variables of the babies (head circumference, abdominal circumference, birth weight, birth length, crown rump length) were measured. Lead was detected at >10 μg/l in 10.9 percent of the maternal and 3.4 percent of the cord blood samples. The maternal BLL was 6.19 ± 2.77(mean ± SD) μg/dl while cord BLL was 4.75 ± 2.59(mean ± SD) μg/dl. With the exception of cord BLL and crown rump length positive correlation (R=0.204, P=0.026), neither the maternal nor the cord BLL showed any significant association with any of the children's anthropometric parameters.

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