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Chronic Stress and Cardiovascular Disease among Individuals Exposed to Lead: A Pilot Study

Department of Built Environment, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diseases 2020, 8(1), 7;
Received: 10 February 2020 / Revised: 11 March 2020 / Accepted: 12 March 2020 / Published: 15 March 2020
Chronic stress and cardiovascular disease risk were explored in a predominately middle-aged adult population exposed to elevated lead levels in this cross-sectional study using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from the period 2007-2010. Elevated lead exposure was defined using the epidemiological threshold of a blood lead level (BLL) > 5 μg/dL as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Allostatic load (AL), a measure of chronic stress, was operationalized using 10 clinical markers. The geometric mean values for clinical cardiovascular disease risk markers of interest (a) Gamma glutamyl-transferase (GGT) (a marker of oxidative stress), and (b) non-HDL cholesterol (non-HDL-c) (a marker of cardiovascular disease risk) were explored among lead-exposed and less lead-exposed individuals with differential chronic stress (AL) levels. Associations between AL and GGT/non-HDL-C were analyzed using linear regression models. The likelihood of increased clinical markers in lead-exposed individuals with high compared to low AL was explored using binary logistic regression models. In analyzing lead-exposed as compared to less lead-exposed populations, the geometric mean of the variables of interest showed significant elevations among lead-exposed individuals as compared to less lead-exposed individuals. Simple linear regression revealed that AL was positively associated with the variables of interest among the lead-exposed. In binary logistic regression among the lead-exposed, those with high AL, as compared to those with low AL, had significantly higher odds of having elevated non-HDL-C. This study submits that those exposed to lead with increasing AL may experience adverse cardiovascular health outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: lead exposure; chronic stress; lead cardiovascular; allostatic load lead exposure; chronic stress; lead cardiovascular; allostatic load
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Obeng-Gyasi, E.; Obeng-Gyasi, B. Chronic Stress and Cardiovascular Disease among Individuals Exposed to Lead: A Pilot Study. Diseases 2020, 8, 7.

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