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Elevated blood lead levels and reading readiness at the start of kindergarten.

Authors
McLaine-P; Navas-Acien-A; Lee-R; Simon-P; Diener-West-M; Agnew-J
Source
Pediatrics 2013 Jun; 131(6):1081-1089
NIOSHTIC No.
20043082
Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the relationship between blood lead levels (BLLs) and reading readiness at kindergarten entry, an early marker of school performance, in a diverse urban school population. METHODS: Kindergarten reading readiness test scores for children attending public kindergarten in Providence, Rhode Island, were linked to state health department records of blood lead testing by using individual identifiers. The study population (N = 3406) was 59% Hispanic. For each child, the geometric mean BLL was estimated by using all previously reported BLLs. Analyses were adjusted for gender, age, year enrolled, race, child language, and free/reduced lunch status as a measure of socioeconomic status. RESULTS: The median geometric mean BLL was 4.2 g/dL; 20% of children had at least 1 venous BLL =10 g/dL. Compared with children with BLLs <5 g/dL, the adjusted prevalence ratios (95% confidence interval [CI]) for failing to achieve the national benchmark for reading readiness were 1.21 (1.19 to 1.23) and 1.56 (1.51 to 1.60) for children with BLLs of 5 to 9 and =10 g/dL, respectively. On average, reading readiness scores decreased by 4.5 (95% CI: -2.9 to -6.2) and 10.0 (95% CI: -7.0 to -13.3) points for children with BLLs of 5 to 9 and =10 g/dL, respectively, compared with BLLs <5 g/dL. CONCLUSIONS: BLLs well below 10 g/dL were associated with lower reading readiness at kindergarten entry. The high prevalence of elevated BLLs warrants additional investigation in other high-risk US populations. Results suggest benefits from additional collaboration between public health, public education, and community data providers.
Keywords
Humans; Children; Lead-compounds; Blood-cells; Analytical-processes; Demographic-characteristics; Sociological-factors; Age-groups; Lead-poisoning; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Screening-methods; Epidemiology; Statistical-analysis; Environmental-exposure; Author Keywords: lead poisoning; school performance; screening-early childhood
Contact
Pat McLaine, DrPH, MPH, RN, University of Maryland School of Nursing, 655 West Lombard St, Room 665B, Baltimore, MD 21201
CODEN
PEDIAU
CAS No.
7439-92-1
Publication Date
20130601
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
mclaine@son.umaryland.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2013
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T42-OH-008428; M082013
Issue of Publication
6
ISSN
0031-4005
Source Name
Pediatrics
State
MD; RI
Performing Organization
Johns Hopkins University
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