Chinese Medical Sciences Journal ›› 2013, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (2): 95-101.

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Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy and Its Influencing Factors in Nanjing, China

Kang-sheng Liu1, Jia-hu Hao2, Juan Shi3, Chun-fang Dai4, and Xi-rong Guo5, *   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Department of Clinical Laboratory, Nanjing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China 
    2 Department of Maternity Child Health Care, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, China 
    3Child Health Care Department, 4Department of Obstetrics, 5Director’s Office, Nanjing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital, Nanjing 210004, China
  • Received:2012-07-16 Published:2013-06-26 Online:2013-06-26
  • Contact: 86-25-52226777/6266,

Pregnant women were recruited from September 2009 to February 2010 at the prenatal clinic in Nanjing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital. Altogether 174 healthy pregnant women without pregnant or obstetric complications or abnormal pregnancy outcomes were enrolled as the gravida group, and 120 healthy non-pregnant women as the control group. BLLs during pregnancy were determined by flame atomic absorption spectroscopy.

BLLs in all the three pregnancy trimesters and postpartum were 59.8±24.3, 55.4±20.1, 55.9±19.7, and 67.6±17.4 μg/L, respectively, and the mean BLL in control group was 67.5±21.3 μg/L. BLLs during all the three trimesters were lower in the gravida group than in the control group (P=0.043, 0.021, and 0.028). Furthermore, occupations, nutrients supplementation, and time of house/apartment painted were associated with BLLs in pregnant women. Lead-related occupations, cosmetics use, and living in a house painted less than 1 year before are risk factors of high BLLs among pregnant women, while calcium, iron, zinc, and milk supplements are protective factors.

Supplementing calcium, iron, zinc, and milk, or avoiding contact with risk factors may help people, especially pregnant women, to reduce lead exposure.

Key words: blood lead levels, pregnancy, lead exposure

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