Associations between patella lead and blood pressure in lead workers

Virginia M. Weaver, Lenworth R. Ellis, Byung Kook Lee, Andrew C. Todd, Weiping Shi, Kyu Dong Ahn, Brian S. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: To compare associations of patella lead, a lead pool that may capture aspects of both current bioavailable and cumulative lead dose thus offering advantages over tibia or blood lead, with blood lead in models of blood pressure and hypertension and to examine effect modification by age, sex and polymorphisms of the genes encoding for the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD). Methods: Cross-sectional data in 652 current and former lead workers were analyzed. Results: Blood lead, but not patella lead, was positively associated with systolic blood pressure. Neither lead measure was associated with diastolic blood pressure or hypertension status. There was no evidence of effect modification. Conclusions: In these workers, blood lead was more relevant to elevations in blood pressure than was patella lead. Additional research will be required to determine whether patella lead assessment provides unique information on vascular risk from lead exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-343
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Blood lead
  • Blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Occupational lead exposure
  • Patella lead
  • Vitamin D receptor
  • δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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