Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Although Dr Nash and colleagues1 generally avoided causal language in characterizing
their observed association between blood lead levels and blood pressure in
postmenopausal women, they nevertheless concluded that "these results demonstrate
effects of lead" and called for "continued efforts to reduce lead levels."
They did not state, however, how this might be accomplished. Because the principal
source of lead for postmenopausal women is from their own skeletons, a high
calcium intake would be a simple and obvious way to reduce resorptive release
of lead into the blood. Even so, it is not clear that preventing an increase
in blood lead levels, by itself, would prevent an increase in blood pressure.
Heaney RP. Blood Lead Levels and HypertensionBlood Lead Levels and Hypertension. JAMA. 2003;290(4):460. doi:10.1001/jama.290.4.460-a