Blood lead concentrations in jamaican children with and without autism spectrum disorder

Mohammad H. Rahbar, Maureen Samms-Vaughan, Aisha S. Dickerson, Katherine A. Lovel, Manouchehr Ardjomand-Hessabi, Jan Bressler, Sydonnie Shakespeare-Pellington, Megan L. Grove, Deborah A. Pearson, Eric Boerwinkle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-105
Number of pages23
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 23 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Blood lead concentrations
  • Fruits
  • Jamaica
  • Seafood
  • Vegetables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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    Rahbar, M. H., Samms-Vaughan, M., Dickerson, A. S., Lovel, K. A., Ardjomand-Hessabi, M., Bressler, J., Shakespeare-Pellington, S., Grove, M. L., Pearson, D. A., & Boerwinkle, E. (2015). Blood lead concentrations in jamaican children with and without autism spectrum disorder. International journal of environmental research and public health, 12(1), 83-105. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120100083