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February 1990

Blood Lead, Calcium Status, and Behavior in Preschool Children

Author Affiliations

From the Division of General Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Pa) (Drs Laraque, McCormick, and Weller); Metabolic Bone Disease Laboratory, Alfred I. Dupont Institute, Wilmington, Del (Dr Norman and Ms Taylor); and Division of Nuclear Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (Dr Karp). Dr Laraque is now with Columbia University, Harlem Hospital Medical Center, New York, NY; Dr McCormick is now with the Harvard Medical School, Joint Health Program in Neonatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass; and Dr Weller is now with the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(2):186-189. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150260066030

• To determine if calcium status is associated with blood lead levels and behavior, 64 black urban children aged 18 to 47 months were studied. Twenty-seven controls (blood lead levels, <1.45 μmol/L) were compared with 37 cases (blood lead levels, ≥1.45 μmol/L) with respect to four calcium measures (calcium intake, serum calcium level, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D level, and bone densitometric findings) and three behavioral scores. Levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D provided a measure of vitamin D sufficiency. As expected, blood lead level was associated with pica scores. However, none of the calcium measures differed between cases and controls. Controlling for four confounders (season, pica score, maternal education, and sex), yielded no significant differences between the two groups in the mean values of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D level. There was no interaction between blood lead level and the four covariates. No relationship could be demonstrated between calcium status and the pica scores.

(AJDC. 1990;144:186-189)