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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1427; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071427

Is There a Relationship between Lead Exposure and Aggressive Behavior in Shooters?

1
Environment & Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, P.O. Box 87373, Houghton, Johannesburg 2041, South Africa
2
The Epidemiology and Surveillance Section, National Institute for Occupational Health, National Health Laboratory Services, 25 Hospital St, Constitution Hill, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa
3
School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits, Johannesburg 2050, South Africa
4
Environmental Health Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg 2028, South Africa
5
Department of Anaesthesia, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 2193, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 5 July 2018 / Published: 6 July 2018
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Abstract

Lead exposure has been associated with psycho-neurological disorders. Elevated blood lead levels have been found in shooters. This study assesses the association between the blood lead levels of shooters and their levels of aggression. An analytical cross-sectional study was conducted in Gauteng, South Africa. Participants were recruited from four randomly selected shooting ranges with three randomly selected archery ranges used as a comparison group. A total of 118 (87 shooters and 31 archers) participants were included in the analysis. Aggressiveness was measured using the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire. Shooters had significantly higher blood lead levels (BLL) compared to archers with 79.8% of shooters versus 22.6% of archers found to have a BLL ≥ 5 μg/dL (p < 0.001). Aggression scores were significantly higher in shooters (p < 0.05) except for verbal aggression. In the bivariate and regression analyses, shooters with BLLs ≥ 10 μg/dL were significantly associated with the hostility sub-scale (p = 0.03, adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.83, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.103–7.261). Shooters have a significantly higher BLL and aggressiveness compared to archers. However, elevated blood lead levels were significantly associated with hostility only. Interventions need to be put in place to prevent continued exposure and routine screening of populations at risk should be implemented. View Full-Text
Keywords: shooting ranges; aggression; Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire; blood lead levels; South Africa shooting ranges; aggression; Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire; blood lead levels; South Africa
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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Naicker, N.; de Jager, P.; Naidoo, S.; Mathee, A. Is There a Relationship between Lead Exposure and Aggressive Behavior in Shooters? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1427.

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