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August 1983

Lead and Hyperactivity Revisited: An Investigation of Nondisadvantaged Children

Author Affiliations

From the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York (Dr Gittelman); and the John B. Pierce Foundation and the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn (Dr Eskenazi).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(8):827-833. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790070017002

• The purposes of this study were to examine whether hyperactive children had elevated lead levels, to assess whether lead levels were associated with poor psychometric performance in hyperactive children, and to replicate previous reports of hyperactive children with perinatal insult having lower lead levels than those with normal perinatal history. Hyperactive, learning-disabled children and normal siblings were studied. The hyperactive children had higher chelated urine lead levels than their own siblings. Other contrasts were not significant. Cognitive performance and lead levels were weakly associated in the hyperactive sample. Contrary to previous reports, lead levels and perinatal complications were not negatively correlated. These results support the notion that lead levels are weakly associated with hyperactive disorders.