Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 129, Issue 1–3, pp 88–93 | Cite as

The Association Between Arsenic and Children’s Intelligence: A Meta-analysis



This present study was undertaken to investigate whether arsenic exposure increases the risk of children’s low intelligence quotient (IQ) in China. MEDLINE, SCI, CNKI, and CBM search were organized for all documents published, in English and Chinese, between 1988 and 2008 using the following keywords: arsenic, intelligence, and IQ. As a result, four cross-sectional studies that assessed the development of low IQ in children who had been exposed to arsenic earlier in their life were included in this study. The summary weighted mean difference of IQ was calculated in this meta-analyses, when arsenicosis areas or slight arsenicosis areas were compared with non-arsenicosis areas; it is −6.85 (95% confidence interval [CI] = −8.30 to −5.41; p < 0.01, using a fixed effect model) and −6.54 (95%CI = −8.93 to −4.15; p < 0.01, using a random effect model), which means that children who live in an arsenicosis area or a slight arsenicosis area have lower IQ than those who live in a non-arsenicosis area, and there may be a strong association between arsenic and children’s intelligence.


Arsenic Arsenicosis Intelligence quotient Meta-analysis 



The authors are grateful to the support of Young Science and Technology Fund in Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The authors also appreciate the editorial board and the reviewers for their work on this paper.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Basic Medical ScienceNanjing University of Traditional Chinese MedicineNanjingChina
  2. 2.Chuzhou Second People’s HospitalAnhuiChina

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