Deficits in cognitive function and achievement in Mexican first-graders with low blood lead concentrations

Katarzyna Kordas, Richard L. Canfield, Patricia López, Jorge L. Rosado, Gonzalo García Vargas, Mariano E. Cebrián, Javier Alatorre Rico, Dolores Ronquillo, Rebecca J. Stoltzfus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Elevated blood lead levels in children are associated with lower scores on tests of cognitive functioning. Recent studies have reported inverse relations between lifetime exposure and intellectual functioning at blood lead concentrations below 10 μg/dL, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) level of concern. We report associations between blood lead and cognitive performance for first-grade Mexican children living near a metal foundry. Using a cross-sectional design, we examined the relation between children's concurrent blood lead concentrations (mean (SD) 11.4 μg/dL (6.1)) and their performance on 14 tests of global or specific cognitive functions. The blood lead-cognition relations were modeled using both linear and nonlinear methods. After adjustment for covariates, a higher blood lead level was associated with poorer cognitive performance on several cognitive tests. Segmented linear regressions revealed significant effects of lead but only for the segments defined by a concurrent blood lead concentration below 10-14 μg/dL. One implication of these findings is that at the age of 7 years, even in the absence of information on lead exposure in infancy and early childhood, a test result with blood lead <10 μg/dL should not be considered safe. Together with other recent findings, these results add to the empirical base of support available for evaluating the adequacy of current screening guidelines and for motivating efforts at primary prevention of childhood lead exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-386
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume100
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

Fingerprint

Cognition
Blood
blood
Disease control
Lead
disease control
cognition
Foundries
Primary Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)
Linear regression
Linear Models
Screening
Metals
Guidelines
test
metal
exposure

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Kordas, K., Canfield, R. L., López, P., Rosado, J. L., Vargas, G. G., Cebrián, M. E., ... Stoltzfus, R. J. (2006). Deficits in cognitive function and achievement in Mexican first-graders with low blood lead concentrations. Environmental Research, 100(3), 371-386. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2005.07.007
Kordas, Katarzyna ; Canfield, Richard L. ; López, Patricia ; Rosado, Jorge L. ; Vargas, Gonzalo García ; Cebrián, Mariano E. ; Rico, Javier Alatorre ; Ronquillo, Dolores ; Stoltzfus, Rebecca J. / Deficits in cognitive function and achievement in Mexican first-graders with low blood lead concentrations. In: Environmental Research. 2006 ; Vol. 100, No. 3. pp. 371-386.
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Kordas, K, Canfield, RL, López, P, Rosado, JL, Vargas, GG, Cebrián, ME, Rico, JA, Ronquillo, D & Stoltzfus, RJ 2006, 'Deficits in cognitive function and achievement in Mexican first-graders with low blood lead concentrations', Environmental Research, vol. 100, no. 3, pp. 371-386. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2005.07.007

Deficits in cognitive function and achievement in Mexican first-graders with low blood lead concentrations. / Kordas, Katarzyna; Canfield, Richard L.; López, Patricia; Rosado, Jorge L.; Vargas, Gonzalo García; Cebrián, Mariano E.; Rico, Javier Alatorre; Ronquillo, Dolores; Stoltzfus, Rebecca J.

In: Environmental Research, Vol. 100, No. 3, 01.03.2006, p. 371-386.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Deficits in cognitive function and achievement in Mexican first-graders with low blood lead concentrations

AU - Kordas, Katarzyna

AU - Canfield, Richard L.

AU - López, Patricia

AU - Rosado, Jorge L.

AU - Vargas, Gonzalo García

AU - Cebrián, Mariano E.

AU - Rico, Javier Alatorre

AU - Ronquillo, Dolores

AU - Stoltzfus, Rebecca J.

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N2 - Elevated blood lead levels in children are associated with lower scores on tests of cognitive functioning. Recent studies have reported inverse relations between lifetime exposure and intellectual functioning at blood lead concentrations below 10 μg/dL, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) level of concern. We report associations between blood lead and cognitive performance for first-grade Mexican children living near a metal foundry. Using a cross-sectional design, we examined the relation between children's concurrent blood lead concentrations (mean (SD) 11.4 μg/dL (6.1)) and their performance on 14 tests of global or specific cognitive functions. The blood lead-cognition relations were modeled using both linear and nonlinear methods. After adjustment for covariates, a higher blood lead level was associated with poorer cognitive performance on several cognitive tests. Segmented linear regressions revealed significant effects of lead but only for the segments defined by a concurrent blood lead concentration below 10-14 μg/dL. One implication of these findings is that at the age of 7 years, even in the absence of information on lead exposure in infancy and early childhood, a test result with blood lead <10 μg/dL should not be considered safe. Together with other recent findings, these results add to the empirical base of support available for evaluating the adequacy of current screening guidelines and for motivating efforts at primary prevention of childhood lead exposure.

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