Blood Pressure in Relation to Environmental Lead Exposure in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003 to 2010

Azusa Hara, Lutgarde Thijs, Kei Asayama, Yu-Mei Gu, Lotte Jacobs, Zhen-Yu Zhang, Yan-Ping Liu, Tim S. Nawrot, Jan A. Staessen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

46 Citations (Web of Science)


In view of the declining environmental lead exposure in the United States, we analyzed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003-2010) for association of blood pressure and hypertension with blood lead. The 12 725 participants included 21.1% blacks, 20.5% Hispanics, 58.4% whites, and 48.7% women. Blacks compared with non-Blacks had higher systolic and diastolic pressures (126.5 versus 123.9 and 71.9 versus 69.6 mm Hg) and higher hypertension prevalence (44.7 versus 36.8%). Blood lead was lower in whites than in non-whites (1.46 versus 1.57 mu g/dL) and in women than in men (1.25 versus 1.80 mu g/dL). In multivariable analyses of all participants, blood lead doubling was associated with higher (P = 0.09) for systolic pressure in women and for diastolic pressure in non-whites. Among men, systolic pressure increased with blood lead (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-+
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • blood pressure
  • environmental medicine
  • hypertension
  • lead
  • toxicology

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