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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(1), 83-105; doi:10.3390/ijerph120100083

Blood Lead Concentrations in Jamaican Children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder

1
Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences (EHGES), University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA
2
Division of Clinical and Translational Sciences, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA
3
Biostatistics/Epidemiology/Research Design (BERD) Component, Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS), University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA
4
Department of Child & Adolescent Health, The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus, Kingston 7, Jamaica
5
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX 77054, USA
6
Human Genetics Center, University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 19 September 2014 / Accepted: 15 December 2014 / Published: 23 December 2014
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [796 KB, uploaded 23 December 2014]

Abstract

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder manifesting by early childhood. Lead is a toxic metal shown to cause neurodevelopmental disorders in children. Several studies have investigated the possible association between exposure to lead and ASD, but their findings are conflicting. Using data from 100 ASD cases (2–8 years of age) and their age- and sex-matched typically developing controls, we investigated the association between blood lead concentrations (BLC) and ASD in Jamaican children. We administered a questionnaire to assess demographic and socioeconomic information as well as exposure to potential lead sources. We used General Linear Models (GLM) to assess the association of BLC with ASD status as well as with sources of exposure to lead. In univariable GLM, we found a significant difference between geometric mean blood lead concentrations of ASD cases and controls (2.25 μg/dL cases vs. 2.73 μg/dL controls, p < 0.05). However, after controlling for potential confounders, there were no significant differences between adjusted geometric mean blood lead concentrations of ASD cases and controls (2.55 μg/dL vs. 2.72 μg/dL, p = 0.64). Our results do not support an association between BLC and ASD in Jamaican children. We have identified significant confounders when assessing an association between ASD and BLC. View Full-Text
Keywords: autism spectrum disorder; blood lead concentrations; seafood; vegetables; fruits; Jamaica autism spectrum disorder; blood lead concentrations; seafood; vegetables; fruits; Jamaica
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rahbar, M.H.; Samms-Vaughan, M.; Dickerson, A.S.; Loveland, K.A.; Ardjomand-Hessabi, M.; Bressler, J.; Shakespeare-Pellington, S.; Grove, M.L.; Pearson, D.A.; Boerwinkle, E. Blood Lead Concentrations in Jamaican Children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 83-105.

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