High Lead Levels May Have Co-Relation to High Blood Pressure
If you think your home has high levels of lead -- get your children tested. A simple blood test can detect high levels of lead, and is important for - children who are 6 months to 1 year old (6 months if you live in an older home that might have lead in the paint).
If your child is older than 1 year, ask your child's physician if he or she needs testing. Family members whom you think might have high levels of lead.
Lead is more dangerous to children than adults because -
- they often put their hands and other objects in their mouths that can have lead dust on them.
- their growing bodies absorb more lead.
- their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.
If not detected early, children with high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from disorders such as:
- brain and neurological damage
- behavior and learning problems
- slowed growth
- hearing problems
Lead poisoning is also harmful to adults, and may lead to:
- difficulties during pregnancy
- reproductive problems in both men and women
- high blood pressure
- digestive problems
- nerve disorders
- memory and concentration problems
- muscle and joint pain
High levels of lead in the blood and in bone seem to raise the likelihood of developing high blood pressure, but this may be related in part to low levels of calcium in the diet, according to two studies shown recently.
In the first study in the medical journal Epidemiology, Dr. Barbara S. Glenn, from the US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC, and colleagues show that blood pressure responds relatively quickly to changes in lead levels.
The study involved 575 people in South Korea who had worked for an average of 8.5 years in a job that exposed them to lead. The researchers measured lead levels and blood pressure in the subjects, whose average age was 41, from October 1997 to June 2001.
The authors found that as lead levels changed on a yearly basis, so did blood pressure. This suggests that it is not just the cumulative lead dose over a lifetime that influences blood pressure.
In the second study, Dr. Howard Hu, from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues looked at how dietary calcium affects the link between lead levels and blood pressure. The analysis involved 471 men from the Normative Aging Study who had lead levels and dietary calcium assessed with standard measures.
Bone and blood lead levels were associated with hypertension only among subjects with low calcium intake, defined as less than 800 milligrams daily.
"Dietary calcium may be helpful in prevention of hypertension induced by elevated lead burden," the researchers conclude.
You may also be interested in . . .
- Risk of lead pollution
- Chemical pollution
- Ozone layer disruption
- Simple way to purify water
- Workplace exposure to secondhand smoking
- Diesel pollutant
- Allergy due to mold and dampness
- Greenhouse effect
- Global warming
- Hydrocarbon Toxicity