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July 23/30, 2003

Blood Lead Levels and HypertensionBlood Lead Levels and Hypertension

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(4):460. doi:10.1001/jama.290.4.460-a

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.