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Association between blood levels of lead, blood pressure and risk of diabetes and heart disease in workers

  • Abdulbari Bener
  • E. Obineche
  • M. Gillett
  • M. A. H. Pasha
  • B. Bishawi
SHORT COMMUNICATION

Abstract

Background: Previous studies have supported the association between high levels of blood lead levels (BLL) and elevated blood pressure. In addition, significant correlations between BLL and a variety of risk factors for blood pressure and diabetes mellitus have been well-established. Objective: To examine the relationship between BLL, blood pressure and diabetes as well as other selected social and biochemical factors, among workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Methods: This comparative study included 110 industrial workers (exposed to lead in the workplace) and 110 non-industrial workers (not exposed); all were recruited in the city of Al-Ain, Abu-Dhabi Emirate, UAE and the groups were evenly matched for age, gender and nationality. Results: The industrial workers had a significantly higher mean of BLL (median 81 and geometric mean (GM) 62 μg/dl) than did non-industrial workers (median 11 and GM 13 μg/dl). In the present study, the lead-exposed group also had significantly higher blood lead levels, body-mass index (BMI), systolic and diastolic blood pressures, fasting blood glucose and plasma levels of total cholesterol, lactate dehydrogenase and uric acid than did the non-exposed group. Furthermore a significant correlation between BLL and systolic blood pressure was observed. Conclusion: The study supports the hypothesis of a positive association between lead exposure, high blood pressure and risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Key words Blood lead Exposed Unexposed Hypertension Diabetes Heart disease UAE 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdulbari Bener
    • 1
  • E. Obineche
    • 2
  • M. Gillett
    • 3
  • M. A. H. Pasha
    • 4
  • B. Bishawi
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, PO Box 17666, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates e-mail: abener@uaeu.ac.ae or abaribener@hotmail.com Tel.: +971-3-7039461; Fax: +971-3-7672022AE
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, United Arab EmiratesAE
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine & Health Science, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, United Arab EmiratesAE
  4. 4.Department of Preventive Medicine, Ministry of Health, Al-Ain, United Arab EmiratesAE
  5. 5.Department of Biochemistry, Tawam Hospital, Ministry of Health, Al-Ain, United Arab EmiratesAE

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