Blood Lead Concentrations of Children in the United States: A Comparison of States Using Two Very Large Databases

Keneil K. Shah, James M. Oleske, Hernan F. Gomez, Amy L. Davidow, John D. Bogden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives To determine whether there are substantial differences by state between 2 large datasets in the proportion of children with elevated blood lead levels (BLLs); to identify states in which the percentage of elevated BLLs is high in either or both datasets; and to compare the percentage of elevated BLLs in individual states with those of children living in Flint, Michigan, during the months when these children were exposed to lead-contaminated drinking water. Study design Tables of BLLs for individual states from the Quest Diagnostics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention datasets for 2014-2015, containing more than 3 million BLLs of young children < 6 years old, were constructed to compare the Quest Diagnostics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data with one another and with BLLs available for Flint children for 2014-2015. Results For some states, the percentages of BLLs ≥5.0 µg/dL are similar in the 2 datasets, whereas for other states, the datasets differ substantially in the percentage of BLLs ≥5.0 µg/dL. The percentage of BLLs ≥5.0 µg/dL is greater in some states in both datasets than observed in Flint when children were exposed to contaminated water. Conclusion The data presented in this study can be a resource for pediatricians and public health professionals involved in the design of state programs to reduce lead exposure (primary prevention) and identify children with elevated BLLs (secondary prevention).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-223
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Volume185
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Keywords

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Flint
  • Michigan
  • Quest Diagnostics
  • blood lead levels
  • children
  • lead

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